Nausea after plastic surgery

Any cosmetic plastic surgery involves the patient being given some medications, all of which by definition are poisons; they can be deadly if taken in excess, just like any other material.
Medications can also cause side effects in the lower doses that are usually used to see their beneficial effects. The most common of these side effects, and one that is particularly important to plastic surgeons and their cosmetic surgery patients, is nausea. This occurs in 35% of all patients and in as much as 80% of high-risk patients. Post-operative nausea and vomiting, PONV,  can make your life miserable after cosmetic surgery. It is the number one fear patients have about surgery, ranked even ahead of death! Here are some of the modalities you and your cosmetic plastic surgeon can use to decrease nausea and vomiting .


Common causes for nausea

Nausea, that feeling that your stomach is upset and that you are about to vomit is an early warning system in our bodies that something is not right. Here are some common causes:

  • Pain
  • Medications (narcotics)
  • Poisons
  • Psychological factors
  • Obnoxious smells
  • Unpleasant sights
  • Eye/ear movement incongruity – motion sickness
  • Breast surgery, head and neck surgery, intra-abdominal surgery!

High-nausea -risk patients

  • the young
  • women
  • being overweight
  • anxiety

When something unpleasant happens, our brains, through a particular area that has been defined, will give us the sensation of nausea, in effect telling us to get out, back off and go away from the stimuli. Stimulation of the brain’s nausea center will provide the same sensations, and persistence of the stimuli, real or imagined, will often lead to vomiting and retching.

Sequelae of nausea

Other than the obvious “not feeling well” sensation, itself a handicap when the cosmetic patient is recovering from plastic surgery and suffering from discomfort, the sequel of nausea is the vomiting that can have disastrous effects on the result of cosmetic surgery.

With vomiting or retching, the blood pressure in the head is increased repeatedly to high levels—a perfect situation for bleeding to start in the face, eyes and nose after facelifts (rhytidectomy), eyelid lifts (blepharoplasty) or nose surgery (rhinoplasty). Retching can also adversely effect the results of abdominoplasty surgery, as pressure builds up in the abdominal muscles and can cause rupture of the sutures used in a tummy tuck to tighten your muscles.

Here is Part 2 of this post;



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