A combination of electroacupuncture and auricular acupuncture for postoperative pain after abdominal surgery for gynaecological diseases: A randomized controlled trial

Wing Lok Lam, Jingxuan Wang, Wing Fai Yeung, Chi Wai Cheung, Karen Kar Loen Chan, Hextan Yuen Sheung Ngan, Carlos King Ho Wong, Fei Jiang, Paulin Wai Sze Ma, Tsin Wah Leung, Wing Cheong Leung, Tak Chiu Liu, Haiyong Chen, Lixing Lao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Postoperative pain following laparotomy for gynaecological diseases is a common problem that requires effective management to ensure patient satisfaction and recovery. Despite the wide use of acupuncture for pain management, knowledge of its efficacy in managing postoperative pain is limited. Previous literature used either acupuncture or auricular acupuncture alone. However, the combined use of acupuncture and auricular acupuncture have not been studied yet. Purpose: This study examined the efficacy and feasibility of combined electroacupuncture and auricular acupuncture compared to a sham control in reducing pain during 5 days after a laparotomy for gynaecological diseases. This combined therapy was hypothesized to provide greater pain reduction than previous studies with less frequent treatment. Study Design: Randomized sham-controlled, patient- and- assessor-blinded trial. Methods: This trial recruited 72 patients scheduled for laparotomy in Hong Kong. Either acupuncture (n = 36) or non-invasive sham acupuncture (n = 36) was performed on the patients preoperatively (1 session) and postoperatively (once a day, up to 6 sessions). The primary outcome was pain at rest, measured using a numerical rating scale from postoperative days 0–5. Secondary outcomes such as analgesics consumption were also assessed. A data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) was established. Results: All 72 randomized patients were included in the analysis. The acupuncture group had a smaller pain score at rest at 22 hrs (mean = 2.6) than the sham control group (mean = 4.0) (Post hoc intention to treat analysis, Linear regression, mean difference = -1.4, 95% confidence interval = [-0.2] -2.7, p = 0.029). No statistically significant between-group difference was found in other outcomes. No serious adverse event was observed. Conclusion: Perioperative acupuncture treatments are safe and feasible, but the efficacy of acupuncture is inconclusive.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154292
JournalPhytomedicine
Volume104
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Abdominal surgery
  • Acupuncture
  • Morphine
  • Placebo
  • Postoperative pain
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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