But people who have bariatric surgery often are told to not use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs because they can thin the blood and cause suture bleeding. "You're taking away their prime source of pain management," he said. "It wouldn't be surprising if their back-up source became their prime source."
In any case, bariatric doctors need to keep a more watchful eye on patients' drug use, Raebel said, particularly if they were chronic users prior to surgery.
"We do need better strategies for these folks," she said. "In some patients, that will be how to best have an agreed-upon treatment plan that they will adhere to. In others, it may be how to safely reduce the dosage and even stop the drug. But it has to be individualized for each patient."
For more information on weight loss surgery, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
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