Incidence and management of postoperative nausea and vomiting


eMediNexus    15 December 2022

Postoperative nausea and vomiting greatly increase recovery time, reduce patient satisfaction, and increase time to discharge. Consensus guidelines for managing postoperative nausea and vomiting highlight effective methods for prophylaxis and treatment. Adherence to these guidelines causes improved patient outcomes and reduced healthcare costs.


The present study assessed the incidence, contributing factors, and current prescribing practices for prophylaxis and treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting.


It assessed Electronic medical records for adult patients who had an elective gastrointestinal or gynecologic surgical procedure over a one-year period. The study collected patient demographics and perioperative data to assess risk factors and the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting. It assessed the appropriateness of prophylaxis and treatment according to current guidelines.


The study observed-


  • Similar incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting as previously noted findings.
  • Significantly higher average time spent under anesthesia in patients who experienced postoperative nausea and vomiting.
  • Administration of appropriate evidence-based rescue therapy in a minority of the cohort experiencing postoperative nausea and vomiting.


This study illustrates the significant opportunity for provider education and adherence to best prescribing practices. Improved adherence to evidence-based rescue therapy prescribing will help improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.


Szachnowicz B, Pawasauskas J, Brothers T. An analysis of the management and incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Journal of Perioperative Practice. 2021;31(10):366-372. doi:10.1177/1750458920950659

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