Introduction: Postoperative problems and complications remain challenge for health professionals, despite the great progress that have been done in anesthesiology. One of the most common postoperative problems is postoperative nausea and vomiting.
Purpose: The pathophysiological mechanism of postoperative nausea and vomiting is known. This review paper investigates the risk factors, prevention and treatment of this postoperative problem.
Literature Review: The literature search concerned original and review papers published up to 2010, at medical databases (MEDLINE, COCHRANE). Essential prerequisite for inducing the articles in the present study was the English language and the full text of them. As reported by the literature, the factors that contribute to the occurrence of postoperative nausea and vomiting associated with patient characteristics, type of anesthesia, premedication, surgery type, duration and number of postoperative factors. Patients occurring postoperative vomiting are vulnerable at complications such as electrolyte imbalance and pulmonary aspiration. Therefore, in order to avoid deterioration of clinical status, appropriate medication and non-pharmacological interventions are applied.
Conclusions: Postoperative nausea and vomiting is multifactorial problem. Aiming to ensure patients’ health, it is necessary to prevent rather than treat postoperative nausea and vomiting. This action reduces the patients’ hospitalization duration as well as the cost of care.
Key words: Nausea, vomiting, pathophysiology, risk factors, prevention, treatment.