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December 2022

Electro-acupuncture and postoperative emesis

Author(s): Jawan, B., Fung, S., Cheung, H., Lee, J.

Journal/Book: Anaesthesia. 1990; 45(4): 327-329.

Abstract: One hundred unpremedicated female patients of ASA grade 1 or 2 who underwent laparoscopy as outpatients were allocated randomly to one of four groups. All patients received general anaesthesia with fentanyl, thiopentone, halothane, nitrous oxide and oxygen; suxamethonium was given to facilitate tracheal intubation. In the recovery room, group 1 (control) received no treatment; group 2 received electro-acupuncture at the P6 point (Neiguan) on the right side for 15 minutes, group 3 received transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation at the P6 point on the right side for 15 minutes and group 4 received prochlorperazine 5 mg intravenously. Any act of vomiting, including dry retching, during the first 3 postoperative hours was regarded as postoperative emesis. The incidence of postoperative emesis was 11/25 (44%) in group 1, 3/25 (12%, p less than 0.05) in group 2, 9/25 (36%) in group 3, and 3/25 (12%, p less than 0.05) in group 4. Our results suggest that electro-acupuncture is as effective as prochlorperazine, and may be better than transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, in reducing postoperative emesis.

Keyword(s): Anesthesia

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