Post-Operative Nausea & Vomiting (PONV)
Post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is unfortunately a very common side effect of surgery and anesthesia, affecting roughly 1/3 of patients in the general surgical population. PONV can lead to longer stays in the recovery room, increased healthcare costs, and more importantly it is extremely uncomfortable for the patient. You may be at increased risk for experiencing PONV if you are younger (age < 50), have a history of motion sickness, or have had nausea after anesthesia in the past.
Alternatives to General Anesthesia
Certainly, general anesthesia is frequently the only option for a multitude of different surgeries. It will typically involve airway management with the placement of a breathing tube and inhalation of anesthesia gas. Though it can be performed safely, it can still be quite complex and can come with a considerable amount of risk to the patient.