Two of the most common side effects following cosmetic surgery are nausea and vomiting. This is most often the result of a response to the anesthesia. It is more likely to occur with general anesthesia. It is also more common in women, children, and overweight or anxious patients, and following any facial procedure.
However, with proper preparation and planning, you can reduce your chances of developing nausea or vomiting following your cosmetic surgery. You should start by discussing any concerns with Dr. Paul Pin during your consultation visit.
What are the Risks of Nausea and Vomiting after Surgery?
Although nausea and vomiting are one of the more common side effects from surgery, risks of severe injury are relatively rare. Some risks may include choking, aspiration, dizziness, light-headedness, tearing sutures or reopening incision sites, increased bruising or swelling, or internal bleeding. If you move about too much right after surgery, you can even further injure yourself.
What Can I Do to Reduce the Severity of Nausea and Vomiting?
One of the easiest ways to reduce nausea and vomiting is by using a scopolamine patch. This tiny patch is placed behind the ear for the first two or three days following surgery. It's the exact same treatment given for people who are prone to air- or sea-sickness. Another alternative is a sea-sickness wristband. Wear the band with the small bead pressed against the inside of your wrist. This activates a pressure point in the body that has been found to reduce nausea.
There are some specific foods that can help cut down on nausea. According to traditional herbal medicine, ginger is very good at reducing nausea and vomiting. Ginger ale will help settle your stomach during the recovery phase. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can try ginger candies, or even a tea infusion of lemon juice and fresh ginger with boiling water.
You may given specific anti-nausea and anti-emetic (to reduce vomiting) medications following your surgery. Be certain to take these medications as recommended.
Because nausea and vomiting are common following general anesthesia, you may wish to consider other anesthetic options. Local anesthesia, where only one small part of the body is numbed, carries the least risk of post-operative nausea and vomiting. However, for more extensive surgical procedures, twilight anesthesia may be an option to consider. With this form of anesthesia, you are not completely asleep, so your chances of having an adverse reaction are greatly reduced.
You may also want to determine if a pain pump following surgery might be a viable option. A pain pump delivers a pre-measured amount of medication over time. It can reduce the need for narcotic painkillers, which are also more likely to cause post-operative nausea and vomiting.
You may not be able to completely avoid nausea or vomiting after your surgery. But with some advance planning and discussing your options with Dr. Pin, you will be well on your way to a much more smooth recovery.
Contact our practice to schedule a consultation or follow-up appointment with Dr. Pin.