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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2006 Sep;64(9):1385-97.

Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) after orthognathic surgery: a retrospective study and literature review.

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Division of Maxillofacial Surgery, Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Oakland, California 94611, USA.



Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is the most common postoperative complication after surgery and general anesthesia. PONV occurs primarily within the first 24 hours and can lead to significant morbidity, delayed hospital discharge, increased hospital costs and perhaps most importantly, poor patient satisfaction. We sought, in this study, to determine the prevalence of PONV and to identify risk factors in patients who underwent orthognathic surgery.


We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional analytic survey of 553 consecutive patients over 14 years of age, who underwent maxillary and/or mandibular osteotomies at Kaiser Permanente Hospital (Oakland, CA), between January 2003 and March 2004. Patient-, anesthesia- and surgery-related factors that were considered to have a possible effect on the prevalence of PONV events were evaluated.


A total of 514 patients met the inclusion criteria. Among these patients, 40.08% experienced PONV during the first 24 hours after surgery. The most important predictive factors associated with an increased risk of PONV were female gender, young patients (15 to 25 years old), nonsmoking status, presence of predisposing factors (ie, prior history of motion sickness and/or PONV, vertigo or migraine headaches), use of volatile general anesthetics, maxillary surgery, postoperative pain level (PACU) and the use of postoperative analgesic opioid drugs. We found a directly proportional relationship between the number of risk factors and the prevalence of PONV.


We found PONV had a high prevalence among patients undergoing orthognathic surgery. Further studies are needed to develop effective protocols for preventing this common and unpleasant problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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