The risk of PONV and PDNV varies widely depending on the person and the surgery.
Risk factors can be divided into four categories: personal characteristics, type of surgery, medication use, and post-operative factors.
Certain groups of people are at a higher risk of PONV and PDNV. These include women, non-smokers, people who are anxious, people who are overweight, and people who have had PONV, motion sickness, or morning sickness in the past.
The type of surgery also plays a role in the risk of PONV and PDNV. Surgeries on certain areas of the body have a higher risk of PONV and PDNV, including the eye, ear, nose, throat (such as having the tonsils out), teeth, breast, uterus and related organs (such as hysterectomy, sterilization, or D&C), and abdomen (such as stomach, intestine, and gall bladder). Certain types of surgeries, such as plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery (such as shoulder or joint replacement), and laparoscopic surgery, can also have a higher risk of PONV and PDNV. (Laparoscopic surgery is an exam in which the surgeon makes a small cut in the abdomen area to pass a small telescope-like instrument with a light on one end through for viewing and examining the organs in the abdominal cavity.) The risk is also increased with longer surgeries.
Medication used during and after surgery can increase the risk of PONV and PDNV. Anaesthetics given by inhalation have a higher risk than those that are injected. The use of narcotic pain relievers such as morphine or codeine during and after surgery can also increase the risk of PONV and PDNV.
Post-operative factors (things that happen after the operation) also affect the risk of PONV and PDNV. Dehydration, anxiety, and poor pain control can all increase the risk of PONV and PDNV.
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