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Revista chilena de cirugía

versión On-line ISSN 0718-4026


NAZAR J., Claudio et al. Prevention and treatment of patients with postoperative nausea and vomiting. Rev Chil Cir [online]. 2017, vol.69, n.5, pp.421-428. ISSN 0718-4026.

Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) are a common problem in surgical patients. When not properly prevented, they can lead to increased morbidity, prolonged stay in the postoperative recovery unit and unplanned hospitalization. The objective of the surgical team should be the prophylaxis of PONV rather than its treatment, in order to significantly reduce its incidence and associated complications.

The main risk factors for PONV are: female sex, history of PONV in prior surgeries and/or motion sickness, non-smoking, use of systemic opioids postoperatively, undergo certain types of surgery (such as cholecystectomy, laparoscopic surgery and gynecological surgery), use volatile anesthetics and/or intraoperative nitrous oxide, and duration of surgery. We suggest to objectify the risk of PONV using the Apfel or Koivuranta PONV risk scales. The main anti-emetic drugs used as prophylaxis and treatment in the perioperative period are dexamethasone, ondansetron and droperidol.

There are general strategies that can be used to reduce the baseline surgical risk of PONV such as avoiding general anesthesia, favoring regional anesthesia, using propofol for induction and maintenance of general anesthesia, avoiding the use of nitrous oxide and/or inhalational anesthetics, minimizing the postoperative use of systemic opioids and to receive an abundant intravenous hydration during surgery.

The etiology of PONV is multifactorial, so prevention and treatment should include different classes of antiemetics, acting on the different receptors of nausea and/or vomiting so far known, together with the general strategies mentioned above.

Palabras clave : Nausea; Vomiting; Postoperative; Antiemetics; Prophylaxis.

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