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Chronic Pancreatitis and Gastric Bypass

on 9/20/11 9:14 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 9:31 pm - MN
RNY on 08/25/11 with
 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 9:41 pm - Troy, NY
No, gallbladder has been gone since 1993.  Thanks for your message, though :-)
on 9/21/11 5:25 am - 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 11:58 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 8:12 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 7:37 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).


 7 years out and maintaining 190 pounds lost!  

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


on 9/21/11 12:38 pm - O'Fallon, MO
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!
Check out my site..
on 9/21/11 8:17 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 9/22/11 5:15 am - O'Fallon, MO
 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..
on 9/28/11 12:38 pm - Troy, NY
Hi Chrissy,

Still waiting to see the specialist.  My doctor wants me in the ER today, but I can't stand the thought of being in the hospital.  I'd rather be in pain than face being inpatient.

Can you tell me more about the feeding tube?  Was it through your nose?  I'm wondering why they had to do that if it didn't serve any purpose.

Thank you so much for sharing everything with me.

on 9/28/11 12:58 pm - O'Fallon, MO
 Ugh, went to add a picture to show you, and I lost everything that I had just typed.. 

Ok lets try this again.. lol.. without pictures.. I will post them on my website.

I dont know why your doc wants you to go to the ER unless your lab work is off the charts or for pain management.

The tube went into the front part of my abdomen (looking down at my wrinkly belly) to the left.  It did nothing but hang out about 6 inches.  I didnt have to drain it, feed thru it.  It just kind of hung there.

It went into the bypassed part of my stomach, the old, unused part.  It has to stay in place for about 6 weeks prior to the ERCP.  This allows for a tunnel to form.  Then the GI goes in thru that tunnel for shorter access to the pancreas, liver, bile ducts and sphincter.  If we werent so rearranged, the non-WLS person gets the ERCP down the throat.  However, with us, they would need at least a 7ft scope and they just dont make those.

After the procedure, the tube stays in for about another 3-4 weeks in case they have to go back in for anything.  (comforting, isnt that.. LOL)  It was very simple to take out, and I didnt have to be put out.  The GI took it out, but the bariatric surgeon could have also.

I will post some of the pics on my website under my bariatric journey.  the website is

Hope that helps, good luck and keep me posted!

I am very good at having opinions and always willing to share :)  Not shy at all!
Check out my site..
on 9/28/11 1:20 pm - O'Fallon, MO
 I posted the pics, hopefully they arent too scary.  LOL..

I dont know why, I thought you were on the west coast.  Look into Hackensack Univ Hospital in NJ.  My sis in law works in the endoscopy unit there.  Two of the docs that she works for understood the procedure I was going thru and why the feeding tube was placed.

Hackensack would be about an hour and a half drive from you if you are near Albany.  We spent 2 months up at Camp Schodack a few summers ago.  

I can also get the names of the docs from her.  They may also work in NYC.  Either way, I know that they have the knowledge and technology to do what you need to have done.

I am very good at having opinions and always willing to share :)  Not shy at all!
Check out my site..
on 9/28/11 1:37 pm - Troy, NY
I'm not too far from Schodack at all!  What a small world.  I'm seeing a specialist in Albany next Wednesday at St. Peter's Hospital.  I've been told Beth Israel in NYC is good, but I'll try close to home first.  St. Peter's just opened a new pancreas and liver center so I'm hoping they can help.  I'll have to look for your pictures.  I watched an ERCP on Utube last night....YUCK!
on 9/28/11 2:17 pm - O'Fallon, MO
I dont know that you should watch that prior to having it done.. LOL..

I think one of the docs my sis in law works with is also from Beth Isreal.. that seems to ring a bell.

When did you have labs done last? my liver panel went skyrocketing prior to the procedure then came down instantly afterwards.  If the pain level gets too much, go to the ER!

Glad to hear that the appt is coming up soon.  Hopefully since they are a new place, they will have their act together!  

Send me an email (  I have the sheet from the GI with a diagram explaing the procedure.. maybe that would help the doc next week.  I dont know that I would be able to put that on my website..  I scanned it and emailed it to my sis in law so she could figure out what they were doing to me.. lol!
I am very good at having opinions and always willing to share :)  Not shy at all!
Check out my site..
on 7/20/12 5:49 am - Brenham, TX
In looking up info about my condition I found your posts from last year.  I had my g. bypass in 2006 and lost 110 lbs.  This past year I've been found to have an abnormal duct in the pancreas and many of what appear to be cysts.  I'm now caught up in a giant catch 22.

Two gastroenterolgist can't seem to find a good way to get down through my stomach to do the procedure they need to do.  (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography).    

 There seems to be no other way for them to get biopsies, but they're worried about doing the actual procedure on me.  In the meantime I'm in so much discomfort and pain.  I'm losing more weight than I need to and am very concerned that it's pancreatic cancer. 

Drs. offices aren't in any big hurry to get you in, the waiting of first this new specialist and then another is taking up what seems to be extremely important time.

They say this condition is NOT pancreatitis yet to have gotten this way I should have had it at least one time.  Not to my knowldege and I really think I'd have remembered something so painful.

So very frightening and frustrating!

Suzie  :)

on 10/11/11 10:04 am - O'Fallon, MO
 How did it go with the appt?  Are they going to do the ERCP?
I am very good at having opinions and always willing to share :)  Not shy at all!
Check out my site..
on 1/15/14 8:27 pm - Red Wing, MN
RNY on 01/24/12

I'm two years out and had right side pain. After a woke me in the night. I spent a night in the hospital for pancreatitis. 

They don't know why it happened. I spoke with my surgeon and was told that it can happen and is usually brought on by poor diet.

I'm worried it may be chronic.

hope you're better.