After surgery, did you develop reflux or gallstones?

nakeddog Posts: 79 Member
I have to decide still, and I'm trying to cover all the bases. I wanted sleeve, signed consent on bypass, but then waffled, the bypass just seems so invasive. I do not have any medical reason to sway to one, it was my choice...and I have read everything, but still find myself looking for personal experiences., esp any regrets. I have to go on thursday to sign new consent, or I can just leave it be bypass.

Please share if you had sleeve or bypass. I do not have reflux, but I've been reading that it is more common to get after a sleeve. I assumed since I did not have reflux, I wouldn't have to worry about it.

Also about gallstones...any info here would be great to. How soon after sleeved, or bypass did they come? Did you get info on how to avoid them?


  • jamielslater
    jamielslater Posts: 125 Member
    I had the sleeve. I did not previously have reflux. They did put me on omeprozale for 3 months following surgery and I didn't have any issues. I've been off of it for about 2 weeks and still no reflux. They also gave me a prescription to help prevent gallstones, which I have not been successful at taking. They are slightly larger and I have a hard time with them getting stuck so I don't take them. I might be lucky, but so far I do not have gallblader issues. I am only 16 weeks out from surgery so I'm not sure when problems usually show up.
  • jcavanna2
    jcavanna2 Posts: 782 Member
    I had bypass about 9 months ago. I didn't have any reflux and I was out on actigall to prevent hall stones. It is definitely not an easy decision to make but look at all your options and weigh the pros and cons. Good luck!
  • NicoleL874
    NicoleL874 Posts: 684 Member
    Stones, I don't think there is a difference between sleeve and bypass in statistics. I could be wrong, if I am, someone please let me know and I'll research the hell out of it! (I had mine removed in 1998, so not an issue)

    Reflux, definitely more common an issue after VSG. Some people do get revised from VSG to RNY because of reflux. HOWEVER, I have three friends locally that had RNY and have had ulcers due to acid reflux and never knew it until more serious symptoms/concerns arose.

    Personally, I had VSG. I've had reflux for 20 years. I tried stopping my omeprazole after surgery and did fine for a while. Now, I take it every third day or so and things are fine. Even if I get to the point that I need it daily, I swallow so many vitamins that one more pill doesn't bother me!

    Tough decisions! Good luck!
  • StevenGarrigus
    StevenGarrigus Posts: 234 Member
    edited January 2017
    I'm only five months out, but here's what I can offer you. I had reflux pre-surgery. About every 3 days or so, I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping because of it and feeling the burn for hours afterward. Post-op, I've had it mildly I believe twice. I usually don't eat anything after 7PM (bedtime is right around 9 typically) which I believe helps me out. If I have any notion that I may have an upset stomach, I take a couple of Tums right before bed. Works for me.

    My wife had her gallbladder removed four years post-op with the sleeve. Hope this helps.
  • kc82
    kc82 Posts: 65 Member
    I had moderate reflux prior to my Sleeve surgery. After surgery I have had not one single day of reflux. For me... it has essentially cured it. I am nearing 4 years post-op.
  • NicoleL874
    NicoleL874 Posts: 684 Member
    FYI...I was on omeprazole daily post-sleeve for the first six months. I was then fine for about two months before I woke up one night with bile in my mouth and sinuses. Thought I was going to die. Wanted to vomit, but couldn't! It was AWFUL. Immediately went back on omeprazole on a daily basis and made sure to avoid overly fatty/greasy meals too close to bedtime. Stayed on daily for another two months, then started with every other day for a while, and now it's when I remember, so a few times a week. *smile*

    That crap sneaks up on you, and is AWFUL when it happens! I had NEVER had a situation so bad before surgery.
  • nakeddog
    nakeddog Posts: 79 Member
    thanks everyone, funny these things didn't occur to me, before, but I am so thankful this group has helped me understand life afterwards. I am about to start some of the steps, April I have to go through a Gastroscope...and I still won't see surgery until 2018...but they make us choose and sign consent so early. I have classes coming up in May that is preparing for surgery...I will learn more I am sure. The nurse said surgery might be sept 2018., but I hope she is wrong. :)
  • loveshoe
    loveshoe Posts: 365 Member
    edited January 2017
    Prior to surgery I only had one experience with reflux. Post sleeve surgery I developed reflux about 3 to 4 months post opt. Two years after surgery I'm still on omeprazole when needed. In the past couple of weeks I think I may have discovered my trigger for reflux and its crystal light. I never drank it prior to surgery, I was a coffee or water girl. Following surgery I couldn't stomach the taste of water so I started in on the crystal light. I was drinking a lot of crystal light. I cut back to two a day and I can say without the omeprazole I've not had a bout of reflux. I'm thinking it may be the dye in crystal light.
  • grim_traveller
    grim_traveller Posts: 626 Member
    I had RNY, and no problems with reflux.

    Reflux can be a major problem with the sleeve. Some develop reflux right after surgery, but I see many that don't develop it until a few years after. I'm sure the percentage is low, but revision surgeries from VSG to RNY because of reflux happen all the time. It's not a route I wanted to go down. One surgery and done.
  • cepiotrowski3
    cepiotrowski3 Posts: 21 Member
    Before my sleeve I had never really had reflux. Maybe once in a blue moon if I had something really spicy..
    now 7 weeks post op if I don't take medication for it ( I did try for a few days when my script ran out) I get acids come up... it's bloody annoying and it's uncomfortable.
    Can't believe it... I hate taking the meds cause they aren't good for you long term.
  • jamielslater
    jamielslater Posts: 125 Member
    I physician said that it is important to take the heart burn medicine religiously for the first 3 months regardless of whether you have heard burn or not because it helps in the healing process of the new stomach.
  • eliminnowp
    eliminnowp Posts: 7 Member
    I am about 5 1/2 months post op VSG and no reflux so far. However, I didn't have it preop either and I think sometimes that can be an influence on having it after.
  • NicoleL874
    NicoleL874 Posts: 684 Member
    I'm too lazy to scroll up to my old post and not ashamed to admit that. Heh.

    A word about reflux. It's not always heartburn. A lot of people feel a churning sensation that mimics hunger. It's the stomach's response to too much acid while still having a good sphincter muscle to keep it out of your esophagus. That's me. I'm 15 months post-VSG. If I feel "hungry" I know it's time to start my omeprazole again. I have not felt "hunger" since before surgery, so I know when it's acid. This was my symptom before surgery as well, so it was easy to pinpoint. Those early out after VSG that feel "hungry" all the time may actually be feeling this.
  • Robin628
    Robin628 Posts: 103 Member
    Anyone who loses significant amounts of weight rapidly is at high risk for gallstones regardless of the procedure. Studies have shown it's the rapid weight loss that increases the risk. Gallbladder removal after WLS became so common that some surgeons started removing gall bladders at the same time preventively. That's why almost all procedures now are followed by 6 months of Actigall to help prevent gallstones. Doesn't always work, but luckily GB removal is a fairly common surgery these days and low risk. I know a few people who had to get their gall bladder removed post WLS, none of them regret their decision because of it.

    I had acid/reflux before the lap band and was able to go off meds for two years after surgery but then it came back (coincidentally when my band started eroding) and I went on Protonix daily for years. Even after I had the band removed I needed it daily. Eventually I weaned down to Omeprazole but still needed it daily. I too was concerned pre-VSG about it making my reflux worse, but my surgeon made feel like the risk was low and unlikely if I followed the guidelines/rules. 13 months post op and I can honestly say as long as I take my meds daily and don't over eat, or eat too close to bedtime, I'm a-ok. No better no worse. Also sleeping on your left side tends to help because of how the pouch is shaped. I've tried to go off the medication, even wean to every other day, but always get horrible rebound reflux. Oh well, I'm happy to take a daily pill if it means a happy sleeve!

    Long story short, I don't think the surgery causes reflux but there is higher risk because it takes time for your stomach to adjust and produce less acid for your new smaller stomach. Plus it's easy to over eat and cause symptoms.
  • garber6th
    garber6th Posts: 1,894 Member
    I am over three years out from sleeve surgery and I don't have issues with reflux.
  • DizGal
    DizGal Posts: 7 Member
    edited January 2017
    I have always had light reflux, every month or so I'd have a bought based on bad food choices and laying down soon after eating/drinking. I'm about a month out from a VSG right now and have had reflux issues since day one. That being said, some of it was part of the initial healing process - some of it was not knowing my triggers. I am on Pepcid Complete twice a day for 6 months (per my dr. to help with healing) and added a single omeprazole capsule sprinkled with my other crushed pills every day or two and have not felt a single issue since I started the omeprazole. I VERY quickly learned my triggers though (like someone above, Crystal Light and other acidic drinks were a major one, also not eating to the point of feeling full - learn your pouch size and then MEASURE carefully so you stop before you get there). I honestly think it will resolve itself as long as I follow the rules (Avoid triggers, don't sleep within a few hours of eating/drinking, etc.) and am conscious of it.

    I would take reflux a thousand times over the possibility of long term nutrient deficiencies with the RNY - it wasn't even a question for me, but everyone is different.

    I already had my gallbladder out about 6 months ago so stones were not an issue for me anymore, but RNY and VSG have the same incidence of stones in the long run. You may already HAVE stones and not realize it, in which case the doctor can just remove your gallbladder while in there as a two-fer.
  • cepiotrowski3
    cepiotrowski3 Posts: 21 Member
    Yep ... I never ever had it before my sleeve now 9 weeks post op if I miss a tablet it friggan hurts!!...
    I hate a hiatus hernia repair as well that I didn't know I had but with no reflux. Christ I hope it goes away
  • I one of those strange ones that had fairly regular reflux before surgery and none after. I'm reluctant to post my experience because I'm the "outlier" with six weeks after surgery without even the slightest bit of nausea. I'm not a great point of comparison. If you're experiencing some heartburn it's pretty normal. Having some (or a lot) of nausea and reflux is common after gastric sleeve surgery.
  • akindofmagick
    akindofmagick Posts: 143 Member
    edited February 2017
    Nope!! Completely healthy. Sleeved June 2015. Down 83 pounds. Zero complications or complaints. Good luck!!
  • Gr8tDaneLover
    Gr8tDaneLover Posts: 38 Member
    I physician said that it is important to take the heart burn medicine religiously for the first 3 months regardless of whether you have heard burn or not because it helps in the healing process of the new stomach.

    It's also probably important for you to take the gallstone prevention pills. You don't want that problem. You can get pill cutters. Cut them in half or smaller then take them. Find a way to take them. Not worth the risk!!