The effect of crystalloid versus medium molecular weight colloid solution on post-operative nausea and vomiting after ambulatory gynecological surgery - a prospective randomized trial.


BACKGROUND: Intravenous fluid is recommended in international guidelines to improve patient post-operative symptoms, particularly nausea and vomiting. The optimum fluid regimen has not been established. This prospective, randomized, blinded study was designed to determine if administration of equivolumes of a colloid (hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4) reduced post operative nausea and vomiting in healthy volunteers undergoing ambulatory gynecologic laparoscopy surgery compared to a crystalloid solution (Hartmann's Solution).

METHODS: 120 patients were randomized to receive intravenous colloid (N = 60) or crystalloid (N = 60) intra-operatively. The volume of fluid administered was calculated at 1.5 per hour of fasting. Patients were interviewed to assess nausea, vomiting, anti-emetic use, dizziness, sore throat, headache and subjective general well being at 30 minutes and 2, 24 and 48 hours post operatively. Pulmonary function testing was performed on a subgroup.

RESULTS: At 2 hours the proportion of patients experiencing nausea (38.2 % vs 17.9%, P = 0.03) and the mean nausea score were increased in the colloid compared to crystalloid group respectively (1.49 ± 0.3 vs 0.68 ± 0.2, P = 0.028). The incidence of vomiting and anti-emetic usage was low and did not differ between the groups. Sore throat, dizziness, headache and general well being were not different between the groups. A comparable reduction on post-operative FVC and FEV-1 and PEFR was observed in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Intra-operative administration of colloid increased the incidence of early postoperative nausea and has no advantage over crystalloid for symptom control after gynaecological laparoscopic surgery.