Mad At My Gastric Bypass Surgeon

Today I had my one-year follow-up appointment with my gastric bypass doctor. It was combined with my first follow-up visit after the gall bladder surgery, which is why it’s a whole month early.

I got very upset immediately after the gall bladder surgery, as I was given no dietary restrictions other than “nothing greasy.” 2 days after surgery I ate a Michelina’s cheese tortellini meal (16 grams of protein!) and my stomach had a fit.

It burned. (Picture Gollum in Lord Of The Rings with the rope around his neck going “IT BURNS US!!”)And I got the pain I got that led to the gallstone diagnosis. This didn’t make me happy. Why did I have surgery if the pain wasn’t going to go away? I called the office and they called in a prescription to Nexium.

When DH came home with my RX, lo and behold it was extended release capsules. I had a fit. Somewhere – I thought it was by my doctor – I was told I couldn’t take anything extended release ever again. In fact, I know I’ve heard this more than once. It was NOT just the pain meds talking.

But the pharmacy wouldn’t take it back, so I was stuck with a very expensive bottle of meds I couldn’t take. Well, today at the follow up, my Dr. says he never said I can’t take extended release meds and that he prescribes Nexium all the time. GRRR. He said try and take it.

But I know I’ve been told that extended release meds won’t dissolve in time, that I’m never supposed to take anything that won’t dissolve in less than 20 minutes. It doesn’t stay in the pouch long enough to dissolve and will pass almost whole in your stool. I will find out who said so if it kills me.

The day I got the RX, I called back and spoke after hours to the Dr. on call. He said to just take Mylanta, which helped plenty and doesn’t cost anywhere near a bottle of Nexium. He also said that perhaps my gallstones were asymptomatic and maybe there was another problem.

My regular surgeon did not look happy when I repeated this. I sense the on-call Doc is going to get chewed out. Nevertheless, my surgeon says to try the Nexium and if I still get the pain to call and he’ll stick a scope in my pouch to see what’s going on.

What if I have an ulcer? What if I have some kind of tear or serious issue? Why couldn’t he stick the scope in my pouch right then? (Maybe it’s a big hairy deal to do that, I don’t know. Maybe he’s right and I’m ticked for no good reason.) I don’t feel that he’s really concerned or, to be frank, doing his job. He’s gotten my money for both the gastric bypass surgery AND the gall bladder surgery, so follow up visits are very fast and breezy.

I had to ask about my vitamin levels. But he looked at the results and red them off to me very quickly, leaving a blur of numbers in my brain that he pronounced all normal and good. So that’s one thing to be happy about – I was worried since taking vitamins regularly is not easy for me.

But again, I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong – I’m certainly no medical expert. I guess I’ll have to wait and see whether or not the pain comes back.

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One Response to Mad At My Gastric Bypass Surgeon

  1. It’s been just over 4 months since I wrote this post, and I stumbled on it today as I was re-arranging some of my post categories. I feel I have to comment.

    Because my surgeon, that I was so mad at in this post, just saved my life. I seriously could have died when I had the twisted bowel episode, but he knew immediately what the problem was and took care of it, despite it being a very difficult surgery (I was in really bad shape). And he’s been absolutely wonderful through it all. Exactly the opposite of what I describe here.

    Plus, except for the extended release meds thing, he turned out to be 100% right about my gall bladder. Apparently, you can still have a stray stone or two left in the ducts after the gall bladder is removed. Which means you can still have some “discomfort” for a couple weeks or more post-op.

    So, rather than just deleting this post (it’s been up for 4 months, so that didn’t seem quite fair. Too many people have already seen it) let me take this opportunity to apologize to my Doc, even though I’ve never mentioned his name here.

    He’s now operated on me 3 times. And each time he’s done a fantastic job. At this point, I owe him my life. I would give him the highest recommendation to anyone considering surgery of any kind without the slightest hesitation.

    When I first went to the informational seminar, the first step in the gastric bypass surgery process, he and one other doc from the practice presented the info. Attendees were asked to choose which doc they had a preference for. I chose “either”.

    Without any disrespect to the “other” doc, who was on call when my wound got infected and did a great job with that crisis, I have to say I’m very glad I got the doc I did.

    If you ever see this, Dr. C, I love ya. Thanks for everything! And I’m sorry for what I said above. You were right, and I was very wrong.