POSTED 10th April 2017

Preventing nausea after anaesthetic

Most cosmetic surgery procedures entail a general anaesthetic. Anaesthesia affects everyone differently – while some people will come round after surgery feeling fine, others may experience nausea and sickness. The effects are usually short-lived and mild but certainly unpleasant. In this article, we answer some of the most common questions around post-operative sickness and explain what can be done to reduce the symptoms.

How likely are you to feel sick after surgery?

It’s thought that post-operative sickness affects one in three people with the symptoms usually lasting one to two hours, occasionally more. If you’ve had an operation before and felt nauseous or been sick afterwards, there’s a higher chance that you will have the same problem again.

However, there are several factors which contribute to post-operative nausea – the length of time your surgery takes; the area of the body which is being operated on (from a cosmetic surgery point of view, abdominal procedures such as a tummy tuck are more likely to make you feel nauseous); and the lack of food before and after surgery.

You should also be aware that you are more likely to experience travel sickness if you go home on the same day as you have had surgery.

Can nausea be prevented?

Post-operative nausea cannot be ruled out but if you’ve experienced it before or are worried about it we can look at providing anti-sickness drugs as part of your anaesthetic. We can also look at the type of anaesthetic to be used as some anaesthetics are more likely to cause post-operative sickness than others. We will discuss anaesthesia as part of planning your surgery, so please do talk to us about any concerns you may have.

After your surgery, our team will be on hand to help you. It’s a good idea to avoid sitting up too quickly and, if you do feel sick, take several deep breaths as this can help relieve the symptoms. You’ll be given a little water within 20 minutes of waking up, more drinks and then a light meal will follow an hour or so after surgery, and this should gradually help you to feel better.

What to do next

We will discuss the issue of anaesthetic during your appointment to plan your surgery. If you have any concerns, please do let us know so that we can take them into consideration and, where appropriate, tailor your treatment accordingly.

To arrange an initial consultation, please get in touch.