Gastric Bypass patient with Chronic pain

Posted by annek1965 @annek1965, Jun 28, 2020

I am so frustrated. Does anybody here deal with chronic pain and had Gastric Bypass? I am struggling with Tramadol not staying with me as long as the dosage says it should. Like there is a malabsorption issue perhaps. Is there anyone with this issue and is there clinical evidence of it? I am in pain and my PCP thinks it should be 1 pill every six hours. I can't go that low of a dose and that far apart.

Hi @annek1965 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am so sorry you are having such a dificult time keeping the pain at bay. Having had gastric bypass myself, I can understand the struggles of chronic pain after the surgery. It reroutes your digestive system. I'd like to invite @fourof5zs and @sandytoes14 to see if they would like to share their experiences. I know for me, they had me on hydrocodone and then tramadol. I eventually went to the three week pain rehab in Minnesota and that is how I remedied my pain. I can share more information about the program if you would be interested.

How long ago was your surgery and have they tried any other medications on you?


I am not sure I can help. To repair a paraesophageal (sliding hiatal) hernia I had nissen fundoplication in 2001 that failed; a bad repair of it in 2007; I had it taken down at the Mayo Clinic in 2013 and lost most of the fundus and hernia repaired. The hernia repair failed. In 2014 I had the gastric bypass at the Mayo Clinic to fix the hernia. I had complication of my esophagus shortening and it pulled a loop of my intestines along with my stomach into my chest. It also caused a small leak that eventually stopped on its on. I had 3 weeks in the hospital and too weak to have more surgery. I was on feeding tube and blenderized diet . I leveled off and got stronger. About six months later two more loops of intestines came into my chest and pushed my left lung against my ribcage partially collapsing my lung. I had to have open thoracic surgery to repair it all. I lost a bit more of my stomach. I did have enough to divide and make the pouch about large egg size. I had to stay on the feeding tube for about five or six months longer.

I have a lot of pain from arthritis and still pain from where they cut me open for the surgery in 2015. Cracked ribs, cut muscles and I have a torn labrum in my shoulder.. probably not from the surgery, but aggravated by the surgery.

During this time of all these surgeries my vitamin d did not register at all. They tried me on high dose of vitamin d but my body would not tolerate it. It made me hurt like the flu. So I take a chewable mult-vitamin that has vitamin d. They do have a vitamin d that dissolves in mouth, but it was hard to find in low dose. I wanted to go slowly up on dose. My vitamin d started to go up and I decided to add a gel pill to it.. forget how much it is. Now 5 years later I am absorbing it. I am towards the lower end of the normal range. I was absorbing calcium, but magnesium was low, but started absorbing it. Vitamin b12 was low and I do monthly injections of it. It is in lower normal range.

I have a swallowing problem. I have spasms at back of my throat and at the sphincter above my stomach. My food basically drops from the back of my throat to just above my stomach.. . sometimes food or medications can stack in my esophagus if the sphincter does not open to my stomach. I take oxycodone for pain because hydrocodone did nothing but give me headaches and nausea. I believe it is the only one that comes in a liquid. I am allergic to tramadol. I chew the oxycodone, but sometimes it is as much as an hour before I start feeling the effects of it: a slight headache.. which goes away after a short time.. and weird head feeling which also goes away after a short time. I take 5 mg of oxycodone as needed. Most days I take one pill every 6-8 hours. Some days it might be every 4 hours. Sometimes it might be a half dose or a 1 1/2 dose. Sometimes the pain is really bad and I add Tylenol or at night half of a 5 mg valium tablet. The Tylenol isn't chewable.. I could get liquid, but I don't take it very often.

I don't really know if the lack of absorption is from missing parts of my stomach, the gastric bypass or the swallowing problem. I have barrett's esophagus to add to all this. Il do know that with time absorption seems to have gotten better for me. Care had to be taken though. If i do not feel the effects of the pain pill I have to be careful.. too many pills hitting at one time could be dangerous. I don't drive much, but a big does of pain pills hitting me while driving would not be good. Blood pressure or diabetic medications could be life threatening too.. so far I don't take any of those.

I seem to be one of the weirder cases at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. Not really an honor I want. 😒



Where is your pain? I developed fibromyalgia after my vagus nerves were cut or damaged beyond ability to function during a routine acid reflux surgery. I have pain all over my body due to fibromyalgia and problems with my stomach and intestines not working at all/working properly due to my vagus nerves not working. Does your community have a chronic pain center/clinic or can you go to one?

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