The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture therapy (AT) on postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) after gynecologic surgery (GS).
A meta-analysis using a systematic search strategy was performed.
A comprehensive literature search of all published randomized controlled trials or prospective cohort studies assessing the effectiveness of AT on PONV in patients undergoing GS was conducted in three databases: PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library. The incidence of PONV, the use of rescue antiemetics, and side effects of AT were analyzed using the Review Manager 5.3 software.
Nine randomized controlled trials and one prospective cohort study identified in the literature search from database inception (1966) to December 31, 2019, including 1,075 participants were included in the present study. AT significantly reduced the risk of developing postoperative nausea and postoperative vomiting by 48% (relative risk = 0.52; 95% confidence interval, 0.44 to 0.61; P < .00001) and 42% (relative risk = 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.49 to 0.68; P < .00001), respectively. No significant differences in the incidence of side effects such as bleeding and needle pain were observed between groups (P = .54). AT was also associated with a lower rate of rescue antiemetic usage (P < .00001) and a higher degree of satisfaction with postoperative recovery (P < .0001). Moreover, the optimal therapeutic effect of AT on preventing PONV was achieved when the treatment time was controlled within 30 minutes and transcutaneous acupoint electrical stimulation was applied.
AT is an effective and safe physical therapy for the prophylaxis of PONV in patients undergoing GS.

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