How to Avoid Vomiting after Surgery

When a patient undergoes a surgery, often there are symptoms such as nausea in the initial recovery period. There can be many reasons for such feelings and following are some of the more common ones.

* Drugs used in inducing anesthesia

* Drugs used in relieving pain and inflammatory processes

* Antibiotics given as prophylaxis or as treatment

* Handling of the bowels and its relative depressed motility

* Prolonged immobilization

* Gastric acid buildup…etc.

When considering these reasons, it is evident that most of it are unavoidable and should be undertaken in order to make the surgery less troublesome and successful. Therefore, it will be the function of the post-op care team to relieve the patients of such symptoms as much as possible. Another fact that needs to be considered is that feeling nauseated does not mean that the patient will invariably vomit. Therefore, taking certain precautions in the post-op period would avoid the discomfort at times of vomiting.

Some of the measures to prevent vomiting in the post-op period would be as follows.

* Not starting oral intake soon after the surgery

* Wait till the patient regains consciousness following general anesthesia in order to give oral sips

* Follow the advice given by the assessing doctor in the timing of starting the oral sips as proper bowel movements or peristalsis should be heard, in order to tolerate what the patient takes in.

* Gradual and slow introduction to solids

* Taking small meals and fluids at a time to prevent stomach fullness

* Proper positioning at the time of feeds in order to prevent easy reflux and thus vomiting. Therefore, lifting the head end of the bed if appropriate according to the surgery, will prevent the reflux from taking place at times of feeding when lying down. 

* Anti-emetic medications to depress the vomiting sensors in the brain

* Gastric acid reducers to alleviate the acidity building in the stomach

* Use of pain relievers with fewer side effects

* Early mobilization will prevent the air buildup in the bowels and allows the stools to pass more easily thus releasing the patient from pressures of constipation or having a difficult time straining.

* Less bowel handling at the time of the surgery

* Explaining to the patient what they should expect following a surgery would also be useful in gaining proper patient compliance.

Adhering to these practices will definitely be helpful in relieving the patients of vomiting and thus making the recovery process less discomforting.