Ninety-seven percent of bariatric surgery patients avoided post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) with the addition of a second drug to the standard treatment given during surgery, according to a study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2013 annual meeting.
"Nausea and vomiting are some of the most common post-op complications for all patients who have general anesthesia," said Ashish C. Sinha, M.D., Ph.D., vice chair of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia. "However after weight-loss surgery, the consequences of vomiting can be very serious. During this kind of surgery, the stomach is transformed to a small, one-ounce sac. Vomiting risks rupturing the fresh incision as the contents of the stomach try to violently exit the narrow, freshly created stomach pouch. Reducing this risk would mean more comfortable patients as well as safer surgery and anesthesia."
An estimated 113,000 people in the United States have bariatric weight-loss surgery annually, according to the American Journal of Surgery. Approximately 15 million, or one in 50 American adults, are morbidly obese, which is associated with more than 30 diseases and conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension, asthma, cancer, osteoarthritis and infertility. The direct and indirect costs to the health care system associated with obesity are about $147 billion annually, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. These costs are expected to increase to $344 billion in five years, if obesity rates continue to increase at the current pace.