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Managing Postoperative Pain and Nausea with Acupuncture


Clinical trial finds that acupuncture is effective in reducing postoperative pain after gallbladder surgery

Postoperative pain, nausea, and vomiting are common problems experienced by patients following laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC), a surgery to remove the gallbladder. Although pain management is crucial for recovery and wellbeing, the use of too many painkillers may lead to unwanted side effects. This is where acupuncture comes in.

Acupuncture is a technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the body's natural healing process and reduce pain. Acupuncture has been found to be effective in managing postoperative pain in several studies. The technique is thought to work by triggering the body's natural painkillers, known as endogenous opioids. Acupuncture also reduces inflammation and promotes tissue healing.

It is important to note that acupuncture should be performed by a qualified practitioner. The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as a safe and effective treatment for various medical conditions, including pain.

 A clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture compared to that of parecoxib sodium (a type of painkiller) in managing postoperative pain, nausea, and vomiting following LC.

Clinical Trial

The trial involved randomly assigning patients to either an acupuncture or a control group. Patients in the acupuncture group received acupuncture, while those in the control group were given parecoxib sodium if they requested it. The pain score, nausea and vomiting score, and the Bruggemann Comfort Scale (which measures a patient's comfort level) were evaluated at 0, 6, 9, and 12 hours after the surgery.

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The primary outcome of the study was the pain score, while the secondary outcomes included the number of patients who asked for parecoxib sodium, nausea and vomiting score, and comfort level. The results of the study showed that the pain score of the acupuncture group was lower than that of the control group at 6 and 9 hours after the surgery. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups at 12 hours.

In addition, the number of patients who needed parecoxib sodium was lower in the acupuncture group than in the control group both at 0-6 hours and 6-12 hours after the surgery. Furthermore, the acupuncture group had significantly lower levels of nausea and vomiting and higher comfort levels at 6 hours after the surgery compared to the control group. However, no significant difference was found between the two groups at 9 and 12 hours after the surgery.


This clinical trial found that acupuncture can be a safe and effective method for managing postoperative pain after LC. It may also reduce the need for additional painkillers and decrease nausea and vomiting. This suggests that acupuncture could be a potential alternative to conventional pain management methods such as analgesics.

Patients who are considering acupuncture for postoperative pain relief should consult with their healthcare provider and a qualified practitioner. Further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of acupuncture and its optimal use in postoperative pain management.

Hindawi, Jan-13-23

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.