It’s familiar to everyone, it’s available at the corner store, it’s cheap, it’s tasty and it could be the key to chewing away post-surgery nausea.
Dr Jai Darvall, Anaesthetist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, is leading a trial to determine if a simple stick of peppermint chewing gum can help to treat patients who feel nauseous after surgery.
The international, multi-centre trial will focus on female patients who undergo breast or laparoscopic abdominal surgery, as they are at a higher risk of feeling unwell after their procedure. After surgery, the patient will either be given a stick of peppermint chewing gum or intravenous ondansetron.
The trial will determine if the chewing gum, a more cost-effective and less-invasive option, and is as effective as the current standard treatment.
“With around 300 million or more operations being conducted all over the world each year, post-operative nausea and vomiting can affect 30% of patients, so there’s a huge potential for a population of patients to be treated with just a simple stick of gum,” Dr Darvall said.