Listed in Issue 180


GRUBE and COLLEAGUES,  Kreiskrankenhaus Greiz, GmbH, Wichmannstrasse 12, 07973, Greiz, Deutschland. assessed acupuncture in the treatment of postoperative pain and nausea following visceral surgery.


The objective of this study was to assess repeated needle acupuncture in the treatment of postoperative pain and nausea after visceral surgery.


Sixty-six patients undergoing visceral surgery (hysterectomy, cholecystectomy) were randomly assigned to group A (three sessions of needle acupuncture, n=21), group M (3x1000 mg metamizole, n=20), or group K (control, n=25). All patients received patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) using piritramide. To adjust for nonspecific effects due to physician-patient interaction during acupuncture sessions in group A, patients in groups M and K also received three standardized visits. Primary outcome parameters were defined as pain intensity, analgesic consumption, and frequency of nausea and vomiting in a period up to the morning of the second postoperative day.


Patients in group A reported significant less pain, nausea, and vomiting compared to patients in group K. Mean cumulative piritramide consumption was significantly lower in group A (25.0 mg) than in group M (34.5 mg) and group K (55.2 mg).


Repeated needle acupuncture may be effective in postoperative pain relief and the treatment of nausea and vomiting in the postoperative period. These effects seem not to be due solely to interaction between the acupuncturist and the patient.


Grube T, Uhlemann C, Weiss T and Meissner W. [Influence of acupuncture on postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting after visceral surgery : a prospective, randomized comparative study of metamizole and standard treatment]. [German]. Schmerz, 23(4): 370-6. Aug 2009.

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