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Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields for Postsurgical Pain Management in Women Undergoing Cesarean Section

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-controlled Trial

Khooshideh, Maryam MD; Latifi Rostami, Seyedeh Sakineh MD; Sheikh, Mahdi MD, PhD; Ghorbani Yekta, Batool MD; Shahriari, Ali MD

doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000376
Original Articles

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) in relation to reducing postoperative pain, analgesic use, and wound healing in patients undergoing Cesarean section (C-section).

Methods: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated 72 women who underwent elective C-section. Thirty-six patients were assigned to the active-PEMF and 36 to the sham-PEMF groups. The participants were asked to report their pain intensity on a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 24 hours and 2, 4, and 7 days after surgery. The amount of analgesics used was recorded. The surgical site was evaluated to assess the wound-healing process on the seventh postoperative day.

Results: Postoperative pain VAS scores were significantly lower in the active-PEMF group in all the measured periods within the early and the late postoperative periods. Fewer women in the active-PEMF group experienced severe postoperative pain within 24 hours postoperatively (36% vs. 72%, P=0.002). Analgesic use during the first 24 hours after C-section was 1.9-times lower in the active-PEMF group (1.6±0.7 vs. 3.1±1.2, P<0.001). The total analgesic use during the seventh postoperative days was 2.1-times lower in the active-PEMF group than in the sham group (1.7±0.7 vs. 3.7±1.1, P<0.001). Seven days postoperatively, patients in the active-PEMF group had better wound healing with no exudate, erythema, or edema (P=0.02).

Conclusions: PEMF treatment after C-section decreases postsurgical pain, analgesic use, and surgical wound exudate and edema significantly, and is associated with a high level of patient satisfaction.

Departments of *Obstetrics and Gynecology, Arash Women’s Hospital

§Anesthesiology, Roozbeh Hospital

Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

Department of Physiology, Applied Physiology Research Center, Tehran Medical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

Supported by the Research Deputy of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Grant Number: 93D-940-130), Tehran, Iran. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Mahdi Sheikh, MD, PhD, Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Research Center, Vali-asr Hospital, Imam Khomeini Hospital Complexes, Keshavarz Blvd, Tehran 1419733141, Iran (e-mail:

Received October 15, 2015

Received in revised form March 30, 2016

Accepted March 7, 2016

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