Almost 15 million, or one in 50 adults, in the United States are morbidly obese. Morbid obesity can lead to many potentially dangerous conditions that include and are not limited to infertility, cancer, heart disease, and type II diabetes. At the same time, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery believes that $147 billion is spent on the direct and indirect costs of obesity, making the condition not only physically demanding but also financially.
When standard dieting and exercise don’t work, overweight and obese individuals can try bariatric surgery, which has helped over 113,000 people in the US to lose weight properly and efficiently. However, it’s no secret that nausea and vomiting are common post-op symptoms due to changes in the stomach. While nausea should go away in 48 hours as the anesthesia and pain medication wears off after the operation, long-term nausea can be a cause for concern.
A new study by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) found that 97% of all weight loss surgery patients avoided any post-op nausea or vomiting when a second drug was prescribed to them along with the standard treatment.
Nausea and Vomiting after Weight Loss Surgery
What most people don’t know is how dangerous vomiting can be for weight loss surgery patients. It can cause the pouch to stretch and the incision’s to rupture, allowing anything in the stomach to violently exit the narrow incision. By reducing this risk for patients, it will help weight loss patients to not only be more comfortable after surgery but make the procedure safer.
Can a new Pill relieve Long-Term Nausea?
The ASA study evaluated nearly 124 weight loss patients after receiving some bariatric surgery. During the study, 64 of those studied received the combination treatment of Zofran, the standard medication, along with aprepitant, an anti-nausea medication. The other 60 patients only received the Zofran and a placebo pill.
Aprepitant is a medication often given to cancer patients to help prevent nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy. It can also be used on its own after surgery, much like in this study. The drug works by blocking neurokinin, a natural substance found in the brain that causes nausea and vomiting in patients.
The patient’s medications were administered an hour before anesthesia would occur for each patient’s surgery. To come up with the rate of nausea or vomiting in patients, the researchers studied patients on a 10-point scale in various intervals, including 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 6 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours.
What should Bariatric Patients do?
This study also found that only 3% of those who received the combination treatment experienced any postoperative nausea or vomiting. Vomiting occurred at a rate of 15% for the placebo group, who only received the standard treatment of Zofran.
The study researchers believe that this study can benefit patients from the risk of having this dangerous surgery complication. The combination therapy allows anesthesiologists and surgeons to block the various receptors that directly affect whether someone is nauseous or vomits. This will lower the risk of nausea and vomiting and present a more reliable result for bariatric surgery patients who are adjusting to the changes in their bodies.