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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1995 May;39(4):539-45.

A prospective survey of postoperative nausea and vomiting with special regard to incidence and relations to patient characteristics, anesthetic routines and surgical procedures.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


We performed a prospective study on 421 patients subjected to routine general-, orthopaedic-, urologic-, gynecological and paediatric surgery to estimate the current incidences of nausea and vomiting during the first 24 hours after surgery. The overall incidences of postoperative nausea or vomiting were 17% and 28%, respectively. Postoperative emetic symptoms were not related to age in adults. Women had more often emetic symptoms than men (P < 0.01). In general, opiate premedication was more frequently associated with postoperative nausea and vomiting than benzodiazepines (P < 0.01), but in otherwise comparable subgroups of patients undergoing major surgery, this difference was not confirmed. Balanced general anaesthesia caused more nausea (23%) and vomiting (53%) than face-mask anaesthesia (13% and 15%, respectively) or regional blocks (12% and 7%, respectively) (P < 0.001). There was a positive correlation between the duration of anaesthesia and the incidence of postoperative emetic symptoms (P < 0.001). The incidences of postoperative nausea and vomiting after abdominal surgery were 23% and 58% respectively. Corresponding figures for orthopaedic surgery were 25% and 34%, other kinds of extra-abdominal surgery 18% and 32% and for laparoscopy 21% and 25%. After minor gynecological-, urological- and paediatric surgery the incidences were less than 20%. In conclusion female gender, balanced anaesthesia, lengthy duration of anaesthesia, and abdominal and orthopaedic operations appeared to be most frequently associated with postoperative emetic symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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