Chronic Pancreatitis and Gastric Bypass

on 9/20/11 2:14 pm - Troy, NY
Hi everyone,
I'm in some desparate need of help.  I had my gastric bypass in 2006, now I'm having chronic pancreatitis and my doctors don't know why.  Has anyone else had this happen to them?  If so, did your doctor ever find the cause?

Thank you so very much,
on 9/20/11 2:31 pm - MN
 my sister had that because she had a bad gallbladder which was leaching infection into her pancreis.  Do you still have your gallbladder?   good lucking finding something out..

Laurie says:  Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind  ~~~ dr. suess

on 9/20/11 2:41 pm - Troy, NY
No, gallbladder has been gone since 1993.  Thanks for your message, though :-)
on 9/20/11 10:25 pm - NJ
I had my gall bladder out prior to my RNY.  About 3 months after my RNY I had my blood work drawn and my PCP was puzzled because my liver enzymes were high - which is a sign of gall bladder trouble. He asked me if I was in pain and at the time I was not. He scheduled a CT scan for the following Monday.  That Sunday I awoke with horrible pain and ended up in the hospital.  I had severe pancreatitis which was caused by a gall stone stuck in my bile duct.  I suggest you have them check out this possibility.

on 9/20/11 4:58 pm
I am going through the same thing. I almost died in the hospital from the pancretitis and according to my multitude of doctors pancreatitis is a risk with any abdominl surgery but the risks increases when making changes to the digestive tract. Like the other poster mention gallbladders are often the culprit and once removed problem solved. However, I am like you and had my gallbladder out years ago. My lipase and amylase numbers (which I assume you are having checked often) did not increase until I was put on ursodial and was on TPN in the hospital, then at home on home health care. One of the causes they mentioned that I was checked for is some valve in your pancreas and bile can back flow into it causing pancreatitis. This wasn't the case for me however and everything thus far has been attributed to the surgery itself. If you do not have a gastrointernologist I suggest seeing one or having your surgeon consult with one. I am not sure where you are located but my surgeon has recently moved to Pheonix Arizona and his name is Dr. Ian Villanueva. He has done extensive research on pancreatitis in gastric bypass patients and after dealing with me according to one of the PA's he has written an article himself.
on 9/21/11 1:12 pm - Troy, NY
Thanks for sharing, Kit.  The ursodial isn't helping and all the testing they've done finds nothing wrong with the pancreas.  I went to the doctor today and he's going to do another CAT scan..  My gastroentestinal doctor hasn't a clue what's wrong, but I can't get in to the the pancreas specialist in Albany New York unitl next month.  I'm in so much pain, and pain medicine just makes me feel worse.  I'm really wondering if the opening to the pancreas is blocked from the gastric bypass.

I do hope you feel better soon.  Losing weight is great, but not like this.

Best wishes,
Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 9/21/11 12:37 am - OH
Rarely, you can still have a rogue stone in the pancreatic duct even after the gallbladder has been removed...  they warned me about that when they took out my gallbladder (which came out after a bout with pancreatitis from a stone stuck in the duct).


10 years out; 190 pounds lost, 165 pound loss maintained

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

on 9/21/11 5:38 am - O'Fallon, MO
RNY on 05/17/10 with
i had RNY 5/10, gb removed 11/10 and still had issues.  It was like having pancreatitis attacks.  In May bariatric surgeon put in a feedng tube thru the bypassed part of my stomach, then 6 weeks later a GI went in and did an ERCP.  I was diagnosed with Sphincter of Oddi.  he made several incisions in the sphincter muscle because it was also clamped shut.  It wasnt allowing the bile ducts to release the right way.  I still have some issues, but not nearly the amount and severity of the attacks I had prior to the ERCP.  Talk to your GI about an ERCP... 
Feel free to email me!
I am very good at having opinions and always willing to share :)  Not shy at all!
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on 9/21/11 1:17 pm - Troy, NY
Hi Chrissy,

I have the feeling that's what wrong with me, too.   But no one want to do the ERCP because of the gastric bypass.  They think it's not possible with my insides moved around.  So glad your doctor was willing to try it.  Are you able to eat normally or are you on a special diet still?

Was the surgery painful?  How long did it take to recover from the spinchter of oddi surgery?

Lastly, thank you so very much for messaging me.  It's terrible to feel all along.  I appreciate you reaching out.

Best wishes,
on 9/21/11 10:15 pm - O'Fallon, MO
RNY on 05/17/10 with
 It wasnt painful, just more of an annoyance.  The ERCP is entirely possible, but your bariatric surgeon will have to put in the feeding tube.  It just hangs there, has no other function.  It has to stay in for a minimum of 6 weeks.  This will allow a shorter access route for the GI to go in and do the ERCP.  Then the tube has to stay in for about another 3-4 weeks in case there are any complications after the procedure.
Google EPISOD.  There are about 10 places across the country that are doing studies on patients that still have pains after having gall bladder removed.  Because of the RNY, you wouldnt be qualified for the study, however, it would give you the best list of docs that do it.  It just so happens there was one out here where I live, recommended by my regular GI.
Once the GI gets in, they do a pressure test on the sphincter muscle, place stents in the bile ducts for 2 days.  Its about a 3-4 day stay in the hospital and once they remove the stents and you can handle food, they release you.  The feeding tube cause alot of abnormal stomach spasms, especially after the procedure. It reminded me of being pregnant with my son and he was up and moving around inside.  Recovery is about 3-4 weeks, but the worst is over in the first week.
Keep your chin up!  Ask your GI for a referral to someone who is willing to do the ERCP.  Maybe there will be someone in your area that has this special study going on.  Their equipment is more technologically advanced then the average GI.
I have to follow an extremely low low low fat diet.  No eggs, nuts.. (of course my major source of protein) but it has helped.
Prior to the procedure, the only way I could eat is if I took narcotics 1/2 hour first.  The pain from the attacks was just too overwhelming.  Now it only happens about 1/4 of the time..
Be persistent and dont stop until you find someone who is willing to do it!

Keep me posted on whats happening!!!  *hugs* 
I am very good at having opinions and always willing to share :)  Not shy at all!
Check out my site..