Everyone expects bruising and swelling after a plastic surgery procedure, but did you know that nearly one third of all patients also experience postoperative nausea and vomiting? Having a plan in place to treat and prevent postoperative nausea is an important aspect of a successful plastic surgery recovery.
Nausea is the body’s natural response to the anesthesia and medications used during surgery. In most cases, more anesthesia means more chance of postoperative nausea. Patients who undergo longer procedures, such as a mommy makeover or a combined face and necklift, are more likely to experience nausea during their recovery than patients who undergo shorter procedures, such as a breast augmentation. Nausea is also a common side effect for many prescription pain medications commonly used after surgery.
Unfortunately, nausea and vomiting can have much more severe consequences beyond just making you feel miserable. The physical act of getting sick after surgery can result in the disruption of sutures or the formation of hematomas – collections of blood inside of the body. If either of these situations occur, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for care. In both cases, the results of the procedure could also be compromised.
Dr. Paul A. Watterson, a board certified plastic surgeon at Charlotte Plastic Surgery in North Carolina, details his practice’s use of all-natural nasal clips to help patients conquer nausea as they recover.
Treating & Preventing Postoperative Nausea
When nausea sets in and the urge to throw up washes over you, odds are you would try just about anything to relieve the symptoms. A quick Google search will turn up a list of medications several pages long, all aimed at preventing or relieving the symptoms of nausea after surgery. The problem with adding one more medication to the long list of medications already in your system, is that every medication has potential side effects. In addition to potential side effects, prescription anti-nausea medications have a reputation for being costly, and they are not always covered by insurance.
Dr. Watterson opts instead for an all-natural approach. He treats his patients with an invention called Aromaid, a nasal clip that releases a combination of essential oils. The essential oils work to relieve nausea without any negative side effects. “It’s a very inconspicuous, tiny little clip, that goes on your nose,” he explains. “It’s almost like an air freshener for the nose.”
While the buzz around essential oils has grown exponentially in the last few years, it is not a new trend by any means. Herbal medicine and the use of aromatherapy can be traced back thousands of years.
Essential oils are aromatic compounds that have been extracted from plants without using any artificial or chemical additives. When the oils are inhaled and absorbed, they are transformed into chemical signals that have certain effects on both the mind and the body.
No prescription is required for the use of essential oils, and there is no need to be concerned about drug interactions. Aromaid Soothe® uses a special combination of ginger, spearmint, peppermint and cardamom essential oils that are shown to demonstrate calming effects on both the intestines and the mind.
Essential oil aromatherapy is traditionally delivered through diffusers. Diffusers have an aromatherapy effect on an entire room, instead of a specific person. The patented Aromaid nasal design infuses essential oils directly to a patient’s nasal cavity. A small, flesh-colored clip attaches to the nose, with the diffuser fitting just inside the nostril.
The nasal clip delivery mechanism allows for treatment of an individual patient in a setting where an essential oil diffuser would not normally be used. “Our nurses use it in recovery,” shares Watterson. “If the patient starts feeling nauseous, they put this little nasal clip in the nose and bingo, it takes care of the nausea and vomiting, which is a huge thing for plastic surgery.” The soothing effects are felt within minutes, making them one of the fastest-acting options for nausea.
The diffuser inside of the nasal clip is self contained, meaning no oils come in direct contact with the skin. The nasal diffusers are packaged for individual, one-time use. Each clip lasts for a period ranging from several hours up to several days of continuous use.
A Safe, Effective and Low-Cost Treatment
The nasal clips are sold in packs of two or four and they can be purchased on the company’s website or on Amazon. Prices range between $4 to $10 per clip. “It’s better than medicine [options], it’s less expensive, and it’s all-natural,” sums up Watterson. “Our nurses came up to me the other day and said, ‘Dr. Watterson, this works fantastically!'”