Why does it matter if she's taking liquid or chewables? Perhaps it's easier on her pouch. Maybe her doctor advised it? Maybe she prefers it? I don't understand why you are so adamant about taking pills. It's not necessarily the size of the pill, but if the medication will be broken down and absorbed that is the question.
My surgeon gave me the okay to take OTCs in pill form, but he said I may not completely absorb all the medication in them. Reductions in the amount of functioning GI tract after RNY lead to decreased time to drug absorption and reduced drug bioavailablity, which is why NOT ALL surgeons are okay with their patients popping pills. Mine is not, especially Rx meds (which, thankfully, I don't need at this point in my life).
From a 2006 article in AJHP: http://www.ajhp.org/content/63/19/1852.full
The solubility of drugs is affected by pH. Drugs that are more soluble at an acidic pH are absorbed in the stomach, and those soluble in alkaline environments are absorbed in the small intestine. In addition, some drugs depend on the enzymes in the small intestine to aid in their absorption. In patients who have had gastric bypass surgery, the small pouch located at the top of the stomach produces much less hydrochloric acid than the stomach previously did, possibly decreasing the absorption of medications dependent on acidic environments for solubility or absorption.
By bypassing major portions of the small intestine, Roux-en-Y bypass procedures drastically reduce the surface area for absorption. Villi and microvilli give the small intestine a much greater surface area than the large intestine. Thus, bypassing of the duodenum and jejenum represents a large loss of surface area for absorption. These changes may warrant manipulation in drug route or dose to ensure adequate delivery. Drugs with long absorptive phases that remain in the intestine for extended periods are likely to exhibit decreased bioavailability in patients who have undergone this procedure. Therefore, products with prolonged dissolution times, such as extended-release formulations, should be avoided in this population.
Not al post-ops take a PPI after surgery. Where did you get this information? My hiatal hernia was repaired during my RNY and I haven't touched the stuff since the day before my surgery. It's the first time I haven't have reflux in over two decades, and I couldn't be happier about it.