A common complication many patients experience after surgery is Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting (PONV). It typically occurs in the first 24 hours immediately after surgery. While it only affects around 20-30% of patients, almost 50% of patients who don’t experience nausea and vomiting during hospitalization will feel symptoms a few days after discharge.

Nausea and vomiting are known risks associated with anesthesia. While they do a great job at knocking you out during surgery or offer pain relief post-op, the drawbacks of nausea and vomiting inevitably follow as your body recovers.

Different types of surgery also contribute to PONV; patients who have invasive procedures in the abdominal area, urinary tract, face and head, or reproductive regions are at higher risk of suffering nausea and vomiting after surgery. However, PONV isn’t exclusive to inpatient surgeries. Outpatient surgeries, such as a colonoscopy, can also leave patients feeling nauseous.

People with a history of PONV often tell their doctors, so the care team and anesthesiologist are prepared for any episodes. To minimize the problem, some surgeons take preventive measures by giving the patient anti-nausea medication.

However, if it’s your first surgery, you won’t know until after the procedure when you first feel the effects of anesthesia post-op. Alert the care team if you need to throw up, and they will likely hand you a vomit bucket.

Barf Buckets vs. Portable Waste Bags

Depending on how swamped the nurses and cleaning staff are, that barf bucket may sit by your hospital bedside for a while. When you feel the urge to puke again, you might be throwing up in a bucket that still contains what you expelled earlier. Not only will your vomit stink up the room and linger even after the bucket has been removed, but it will get worse the longer it remains.

However, if you were to throw up in a portable Waste Bag instead, your vomit would hit the polymers and enzymes inside the bag and convert into a deodorized gel immediately. Portable Waste Bags are ideal for the proper disposal of human waste, including vomit.

The Brief Relief Disposa-John portable Waste Bags contains a “bag-in-bag” design and multiple closures to takes care of any solid or liquid waste. Portable Waste Bags are ideal for medical environments because they are safe, sanitary, and made from non-toxic materials. Wag bags are also better than barf buckets because of their deodorizing properties. Not only does the unique combination of polymers and enzymes solidify your vomit into a gel state, but they eliminate the foul smell.

Unfortunately for some, the nausea-inducing side effects that lead to vomiting can last for days after surgery. Factors such as the medication used during recovery and diet all play roles. Therefore, wag bags aren’t just beneficial for hospitals to give patients who suffer from PONV during their stay, but they should be included in the care pack they take home after discharge.

Post-op nausea and sickness can happen to anyone, check out our portable Waste Bags to see how Brief Relief can help transform inpatient and outpatient care.