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Chronic arthritis and the preference of VSG

on 2/8/16 4:13 pm

Does anyone have advise on how I  put forth the preference for the VSG due to chronic arthritis and the need to take Nsaids .

 I experience massive swelling in my feet and  knees.( some of the joints in my feet are fusing)  I have degenerative disk disease in my back.

Tylenol never works because my joints swell and that causes pain . I already use a tens machine , massage, physio. I am in contact with the arthritis association. I have tried acupuncture.

I need a hip replacement and so I take a narcotic which does  not help the arthritis at all.

I have lost 55 pounds pre surgery and although there is improvement it's not a lot. (Most studies say I  have already lost enough weight  to feel any relief I am going to feel in the joints. )

I worry that if I have the RNY I am limiting my ability to treat my arthritis without taking major narcotics to live and I don't feel that narcotics are in my best interest.

I know about cortisone shots but that is not what I want to be doing at my age although I may end up there eventually.

So please, if anyone has advise, wisdom or any research  you may have come upon during your journey to share, I would be grateful.


Surgery: 9/2/16  H.W. 340 S.W.254 


on 2/20/16 10:23 am
VSG on 02/09/16

Good morning!

I had a VSG on 2/9/2016, only on my second week post surgery.  The number one reason I sought out bariatric surgery was because of my chronic pain due to progressive osteoarthritis and disc disease.  I had a total hip replacement two years ago and need both of my knees, right shoulder and right foot worked on as well.  My Bariatric surgeon recommended the gastric sleeve over the bypass because of the NSAIDs.  When the pain is too much and Tylenol does not work, I am allowed to occasionally take prescription strength Ibuprofen.  I completely understand your fear and apprehension.  Talk to the Bariatric surgeon you have chosen and just be honest about your fears.  Another option is to research the medication Suboxone.  My pain physician switched me to this in 2009 after being on narcotics for over 10 years.  It was developed to treat narcotic dependency, but is also used for chronic pain.  This medication has changed my life and I hope the VSG will help do the same. I am new at this but would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about my experience.  Congrats on the 55 lbs lost so far, that is amazing!

on 3/14/16 5:55 pm

Good luck on your new journey! I have copies of all my reports regarding my arthritis I'm hoping that will help me get what I feel I need.

Thanks and I would love to here how your adventure unfolds.


Surgery: 9/2/16  H.W. 340 S.W.254 


on 2/27/16 10:42 am - IA
VSG on 07/01/15

I had a VSG because of osteoarthritis.  My surgeon is allowing me to take Nsaids with it as long as I take a medication such as Prilosec to protect my stomach at the same time.

Now Prilosec and that type of medication is coming under scrutiny for kidney issues. 

I am currently taking numbetone (sp?), tramadol (I believe a narcotic) as well as Prilosec just once a day to cut back on the Nsaids and the acid reducer.  I am allowed to take it all the time.  Not sure yet if that is going to work out or not as surgery was just 8 months ago.

As others will mention that VSG was wonderful BUT it doesn't really help the osteoarthritis issue much at all.  Yes, I can get around better, my hands still hurt (especially my thumb joints).  I am considering, if I can find a rheumatologist willing, to get cortisone shots in my hands.  I think I could go without my Nsaids for a short term to give my new stomach a rest from the Nsaids and just use the cortisone shots as well as the tramadol.

Good luck with your decision-making process.  From your information it sounds like your osteo is much worse than mine and that could be a major factor in your mind.


HW: 336.5 (March 1, 2015), Height: 5'11", Birthdate:  November 8, 1955

VSG: July 1, 2015 288.0 lbs, University of Iowa Hospitals -- Dr. Isaac Samuel

CW: 197.8 lbs, goal: 186

8/2/15 -- 263.8 | 8/30/15 -- 256.0 | 9/20/15 -- 248.6 | 11/1/15 -- 240.6 | 11/29/15 -- 233.2 | 1/3/16 -- 227.4 | 1/31/16 -- 218.6 | 2/28/16 -- 211.2 | 3/27/16 -- 204.6 | 5/2/2016 -- 206.6 | 5/30/2016 -- 203.8 | 7/7/2016 --198.8 | 8/1/2016 -- 197.8

on 3/14/16 6:03 pm

Life can be so hard when you have arthritis can't it and know one really knows except those who experience it. I'm willing to try and do without Nsaid for as long as I can but as you know this is progressive and I want options down the road. I'm willing to earn my pain but I know how bad it can be specially as you age. I want options. My mom currently does injection in her back and hip and they certainly help. I hope they work for you too.


Surgery: 9/2/16  H.W. 340 S.W.254 


on 1/14/17 2:22 pm - Arlington, TX
VSG on 08/17/16

Hey!  New here on this board, but I had VSG 8/17/2016 on the advice of my rheumatologist.  I have rheumatoid/psoriatic arthritis.  VSG was the only WLS that would allow me to take NSAIDs and steroids as needed for my condition.  It's not ideal with any WLS, but it's a relative contraindication as opposed to a complete contraindication such as the RNY and LapBand.

So far I've only had to take my NSAIDs twice since surgery.  My rheumy told me there was no guarantee, but the stomach tissue that is removed with VSG secretes some of the hormones involved in the inflammatory process, so my inflammation could go down after the surgery.  My inflammatory factor counts have been going down since about 3 weeks after surgery, so my RA/PsA meds are working better, and my joints aren't hurting as much.  The 72# lost helps too, I'm sure.

Right now I'm trying to get active again, and it's hard because if I overdo, I get into an auto-immune flare and can't move for 4 days, so I have to start out REALLY light with weights and such and increase them VERY slowly.  But as long as I keep moving forward, I figure I'm improving even if it is slow.

Not sure if any of this is helpful, but that's my story.  :)

HW 306 - SW 297 - GW 175 - Surg 8/17/2016

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