Abdominal pain is a common complaint after any surgery, including weight loss surgery. Initially, this is often caused by the abdominal incisions from your surgery. This pain should be temporary and lessen over the first six weeks after surgery. Farther out from surgery, you may experience abdominal pain for a number of reasons:
Constipation is the most common reason for abdominal pain, which can be severe. It can be easily treated with stool softeners or increasing fiber and fluid intake.
Patients who have a gallbladder can develop gallstones or a gallbladder that stops functioning properly. The typical symptoms are right upper abdominal pain or back pain. We prescribe Ursodiol (a prescription drug that dissolves gallstones) for the first six months after your surgery to reduce the risk of developing gallstones. However, it does not completely eliminate the risk.
Patients can develop scar tissue or adhesions after abdominal surgery, but they are rare. These can cause an uncomfortable tugging sensation.
Patients who have a gastric bypass are also at risk of developing ulcers. These can be experienced as a burning sensation or pain when eating or drinking. Patients must avoid smoking or taking aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories after gastric bypass to reduce this risk.
Various types of hernias may also occur after your surgery. Patients can develop hiatal hernias, abdominal wall hernias and groin hernias. Gastric bypass patients can also develop internal hernias. If you experience abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, you should call your surgeon’s office to rule out a hernia.
In addition to performing bariatric surgery, Dr. Ben-Meir does general surgery and can address these issues if they arise, most of the time performing the operations laparoscopically.
Have any other questions regarding bariatric surgery? Watch our free, on-demand webinar to find out more.