Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NSAIDS: VSG Friendly?

Why are we talking so much about NSAIDs lately? Everyone has an opinion on whether or not we can take em. By "we" I mean the VSGers. Even doctors can't seem to agree on the facts. When I had my band I waas popping Aleve like candy... 500mg in one shot 4 times a day. It's a miracle I don't have an ulcer.

So I did some breif research this morning about the FACTS on NSAID use. Once you have the facts you can decide if NSAID use is for you.

What exactly is an NSAID? NSAIDs are Non-Steroidal Anti Inflamitory Drugs known for their ability to reduce fever and provide pain relief. They are non narcotic, but lemme tell you they can be addictive.

What is the problem with NSAIDs?  The problem with NSAIDs are the damage they can cause to the inner lining of your stomach. They can wear the lining down and cause ulcers.
"The second major cause for ulcers is irritation of the stomach arising from regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. NSAIDs are available over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription" ~American College of Gastroenterology.

What are the Complications of Ulcers? Bleeding, Obstruction and Perforation
Bleeding: Internal bleeding in the stomach or the duodenum.

  • Bleeding is never a good thing clearly. If the bleed is in the duodenum, we have a chance to possibly convert to a DS, but if the bleed is in the stomach... Well we don't have much less. With a full stomach we have more room to play and most consider the benefits to outweigh the risks. We only have 20% of our stomach left friends.... Not much to play with there... Do the benefits of NSAIDs still outweigh the risks?
Perforation: When ulcers are left untreated, digestive juices and stomach acid can literally eat a hole in the intestinal lining, a serious medical problem that requires hospitalization, and often surgery.

  • Again... we have 20% of our stomach left!!!! Why risk it? We have to save it for a potential rainy day!
Obstruction: Swelling and scarring from an ulcer may close the outlet of the stomach, preventing food to pass and causing vomiting and weight loss.

  • Ok, I didn't know this until recently... Has your surgeon showed you what a bougie looks like?? Below you will see a picture sent to me by Dr. Alvarez, of a 32fr Bougie.
  • Picture of 32 French Bougie... Its the clear thing in the middle... If you don't understand what a bougie is or why is used for VSG surgery... Here is a quick explanation... The bougie is place in through your esophagus into your stomach and used as a guide for the surgeon to staple. Basically the bougie decides the size of your new sleeve. As you can see below, the bougie is barely bigger than a pen.
  •  Not very much there to save or work with. I would imagine it would be fairly simple and quick for an ulcer to work its way through our new stomach and cause a hole... It is possible for ulcers to heal... but again look at the size of the inside of your stomach... How much scar tissue do you think it would take to cause an obstruction? I'd gather not that much!

Can you see why this may be problematic for VSGers?

So now you can make an educated decision is to whether or not NSAID's are good for you!
They are not for me. If you do NEED to take NSAIDs for heart health and things of that nature... There are medications that can be taken in conjunction with NSAID to lower your risk. Talk to your doctor :-)

Here is a list of all of the OTC (Over the Counter) NSAIDs out there. For a more complete list of both OTC and perscription NSAIDs Click Here!

Over-the-Counter NSAIDs
OTC Brand NameGeneric NameDose
Actron®ketoprofen1-6 pills/day, (up to 75 mg/day)
Advil®ibuprofen1-6 pills/day, (up to 1,200 mg/day)
Aleve®naproxen sodium1-3 pills/day*, (up to 660 mg/day)
Bayer®aspirin1-12 pills/day, (up to 4,000 mg/day)
Ecotrin®aspirin1-12 pills/day, (up to 4,000 mg/day)
Excedrin®aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine2-8 pills/day, (up to 2,000 mg/day aspirin, 2,000 mg/day acetaminophen, and 520 mg/day caffeine)
Motrin IB®ibuprofen1-6 pills/day, (up to 1,200 mg/day)
Nuprin®ibuprofen1-6 pills/day, (up to 1,200 mg/day)
Orudis KT®ketoprofen1-6 pills/day, (up to 75 mg/day)
*2-pill limit for patients over age 65.

Sleeve Pixie

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