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It’s not uncommon to wake up feeling queasy after surgery. In fact, anesthesia causes vomiting so often that there is a term for the condition: post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV).
Your Doctor Should Watch You Carefully After Anesthesia Causes Vomiting
Patients who suffer PONV are typically treated with anti-nausea medications and IV fluids to rehydrate their bodies. However, many patients who suffer from chronic stomach ailments may vomit during the course of their surgeries—leading to choking, pneumonia, and lung scarring due to breathing in their stomach contents.
It Is Vital That You Asses Your Risk of PONV by Looking at a Few Factors
- Type of surgery – Nausea and vomiting is likelier to occur after certain types of surgeries, such as ear, nose, throat, or eye surgery and gynecologic procedures.
- Patient factors – PONV occurs more readily in female patients, people who suffer from anxiety disorders, patients who have a prior history of migraines and motion sickness, and people who have experienced PONV in the past.
- Prescription medications – Patients who control stomach ailments with medication may not be able to take their daily doses before surgery, leading to an increased likelihood of vomiting.
- Communication before surgery – If you are not feeling well, make sure you tell your doctor before surgery. If you have a history of gastric conditions—GERD, irritable bowel syndrome, or acid reflux—he should place you at high risk of PONV.
Any one of these could place a patient at risk for nausea, but a combination of risk factors can be life-threatening. If you have a combination of multiple conditions, such as gastric problems, low blood pressure, and a history of migraines, you are at particular risk of aspiration and your doctor should plan your surgery accordingly.
If you were received treatment for vomit aspiration after surgery, you may be able to hold your surgeon accountable for malpractice. Read our related links to find out more about this condition, or tell us your story in the live chat box on the bottom of this page.