New Post-Op Drug Regimen Reduced Nausea and Vomiting in 97% of Bariatric Surgery Patients

According to a study by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the addition of one drug can dramatically decrease the post-op complications of nausea and vomiting. After bariatric surgery, vomiting can be very serious as it can lead to rupturing of an incision. The stomach is transformed during this surgery to hold only one-ounce of substances. Vomiting creates a violent exit of a newly-created stomach pouch. By changing the standard drug regimen for weight loss surgery patients, it will reduce the risk of this dangerous complication from occurring.

According to the American Journal of Surgery (AJS), nearly 113,000 each year have some type of bariatric weight loss surgery. Nearly 1 in 50 adults in the United States are morbidly obese or 15 million. Morbid obesity is directly related to nearly 30 different medical conditions and disease including (and not limited to): cancer, infertility, sleep apnea, heart disease and Type II Diabetes. Obesity costs the health care system nearly $147 billion each year, according to the AJS. Weight loss surgery can help prevent these costs and increase the well-being and health of Americans.

About the Study

This study looked at 124 patients. To study the effects, 64 patients received their combination treatment of Zofran (normal drug) with Aprepitant (the second drug added). This occurred within one hour after the start of anesthesia. The other 60 patients just got the normal drug, Zofran with a placebo pill. The patients’ nausea was studied on a 10-point scale
30 minutes after surgery as well 1, 2, 6, 24, 48 and 72 hours after surgery occurred.

Aprepitant is a medication typically used with cancer chemotherapy patients to help prevent nausea and vomiting 24 hours after receiving treatment. It often is used in conjunction with other medications to prevent delayed symptoms as well. It is used to prevent the symptoms from occurring not to treat them if they are already occurring. It blocks the neurokonin that causes nausea and vomiting from creating those problems for bariatric surgery patients.

According to the study’s researchers, 3% of the patients studied who received the combination drug treatment experienced nausea or vomiting after their surgery. While in the placebo group (who only received Zofran), 15% of those patients experienced the same post-op complications. The study showed the influence of a combination drug therapy in comparison to the regular one-drug treatment regimen. The combination therapy helps to reduce the receptors in the brain that trigger the feelings of nausea and vomiting. By blocking these receptors with the new added drug, we are able to lower the incidences of vomiting.

New Post-Op Drug Regimen Reduced Nausea and Vomiting in 97% of Bariatric Surgery Patients
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