Postoperative nausea and vomiting

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Postoperative nausea and vomiting
Classification and external resources
MeSH D020250

Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is an unpleasant complication affecting about a third of the 10% of the population undergoing general anaesthesia each year.

Cause[edit]

Emetogenic drugs commonly used in anaesthesia include nitrous oxide, physostigmine and opioids. The intravenous anaesthetic propofol is currently the least emetogenic general anaesthetic.

Risk factors[edit]

Postoperative nausea and vomiting results from anaesthesic, surgical, and patients factors. Gynaecological, urological, strabismus correction and middle ear surgery all have a higher risk of postoperative nausea and vomiting.

Patients that are female or who have a history of postoperative nausea and vomiting are at greater risk. Smokers have a decreased risk, but this would never be recommended by any physician. Older patients suffer less PONV.

Obesity, age less than 16 years, past history of motion sickness and high levels of pre-operative anxiety are also risk factors for PONV.

Management[edit]

Because no currently available antiemetic is especially effective by itself, and successful control is often elusive, experts recommend a multimodal approach. Anaesthetic strategies to prevent vomiting include using regional anaesthesia wherever possible and avoiding medications that cause vomiting. Medications to treat and prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting is limited by both cost and the adverse effects. People with risk factors probably warrant preventative medication, whereas a "wait and see" strategy is appropriate for those without risk factors.

Medications[edit]

A Cochrane review found droperidol, metoclopramide, ondansetron, tropisetron, dolasetron, dexamethasone, cyclizine, and granisetron effective for preventing PONV.[1]

Granisetron and dexamethasone is not recommended due to the higher rate of side effects.[2]

Alternative medicine[edit]

In conjunction with antiemetic medications, at least one study has found that application to the Pericardium Meridian 6 accupressure point produced a positive effect in relieving postoperative nausea and vomiting.[3] Another study found no statistically significant difference.[4]

Epidemiology[edit]

On average the incidence of nausea or vomiting after general anesthesia ranges between 25 and 30% [Cohen 1994]. Nausea and vomiting can be extremely distressing for patients and is therefore one of their major concerns [Macario 1999]. Vomiting has been associated with major complications such as pulmonary aspiration of gastric content and might endanger surgical outcomes after certain procedures, for example after maxillofacial surgery with wired jaws. Nausea and vomiting can delay discharge and about 1% of patients scheduled for day surgery require unanticipated overnight admission because of uncontrolled postoperative nausea and vomiting.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carlisle, JB; Stevenson, CA (19 July 2006). "Drugs for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews (3): CD004125. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004125.pub2. PMID 16856030. 
  2. ^ Tricco, AC; Soobiah, C; Blondal, E; Veroniki, AA; Khan, PA; Vafaei, A; Ivory, J; Strifler, L; Ashoor, H; MacDonald, H; Reynen, E; Robson, R; Ho, J; Ng, C; Antony, J; Mrklas, K; Hutton, B; Hemmelgarn, BR; Moher, D; Straus, SE (18 June 2015). "Comparative safety of serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonists in patients undergoing surgery: a systematic review and network meta-analysis.". BMC medicine 13: 142. doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0379-3. PMC 4472408. PMID 26084332. 
  3. ^ "Accupressure Treatment For The Prevention Of Postoperative Nausea And Vomiting" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "Effect of acupressure on postoperative nausea and vomiting in laparoscopic cholecystectomy.".