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Perioperative Transcutaneous Electrical Acupoint Stimulation for Postoperative Pain Relief Following Laparoscopic Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Sun, Kai MD; Xing, Tian MD; Zhang, Fengjiang MD; Liu, Yunqing MD; Li, Wei MD; Zhou, Zhenfeng MD; Fang, Liangyu MSc; Yu, Lina MD; Yan, Min MD

doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000400
Original Articles

Objectives: This trial was conducted to assess the influence of transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) on postoperative pain intensity and the optimal time of TEAS application during perioperative period in patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery.

Methods: From July 2012 to October 2013, 380 patients scheduled for laparoscopic surgery under general anesthesia were randomly assigned to receive sham TEAS (group SSS), preoperative TEAS (group TSS), preoperative TEAS combined with intraoperative TEAS (group TTS) or preoperative TEAS combined with postoperative TEAS (group TST) (n=95 each group). Primary outcomes included resting and activity pain intensity evaluated by visual analog scale at 1, 6, 24, and 48 hours after surgery.

Results: At postoperative 6 hours, the activity pain intensity was significantly lower in groups TTS and TST compared with groups SSS and TSS (P<0.001). At postoperative 24 and 48 hours, activity pain intensity decreased in group TST compared with both groups SSS and TSS (P<0.001). The supplemental analgesic requirement was less in group TST compared with group SSS. There was no significant difference in intraoperative anesthetic consumption, postoperative nausea and vomiting and time of the first postoperative flatus or defecation among the 4 groups. The patient satisfactory rate was higher in groups TSS, TTS, and TST compared with group SSS. No side effect related to TEAS was observed during the postoperative 48 hours.

Discussion: Combination of preoperative TEAS with intraoperative or postoperative TEAS, rather than preoperative TEAS alone, is an effective and safe adjunctive for management of postoperative pain following laparoscopic surgery.

*Department of Anesthesiology, Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou

Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou

Zunyi Medical College, Zunyi, China

This study was carried out in the second affiliated hospital of Zhejiang University, School of Medicine and was funded by the Scientific Research Program of Chinese Medicine (2010ZA074) and the department (Department of Anesthesiology, the second affiliated hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Min Yan, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310009, China (e-mail:

Received December 29, 2015

Received in revised form August 9, 2016

Accepted June 11, 2016

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