Numerous studies have revealed that acupuncture can increase the somatic pain threshold. Electro-acupuncture (EA) can help pain-relieving with minimal physiologic disturbance. Various painful disorders, as well as pain following various surgeries, like cesarean section, gastrostomy, and enterectomy were managed properly with acupuncture. Therefore we studied the postoperative analgesic effect of EA in patients undergoing abdominal hysterectomy.
A randomized, prospective clinical trial study was carried out on 56 women undergoing hysterectomy under spinal anesthesia. Patients were allocated randomly to receive either spinal anesthesia and electric ear acupuncture (EEA group) or spinal anesthesia alone (control group). EEA was done by fine needles to anatomically defined 4 points of the ear: Shen Men Point, thalamus Point 26, Analgesia Point 3, and Uterus Point 58, and connected to EA therapeutic apparatus. After finishing surgery, the fine needles were substituted by permanent press needles to be removed after 24 hours. The primary outcome was the postoperative 24 h morphine consumption by patient-controlled analgesia, while secondary outcomes included Post-operative pain scores and postoperative 1st request of analgesia.
Total morphine consumption in the first 24 postoperative hours was obviously reduced in the EEA group versus the control group (mean ± SD:6.214± 2.1319 mg vs 15.714 ± 3.3428 mg, d = - 3.3886, 95% Confidence interval = - 4.2061,-2.5712, p-value =0.000). The postoperative pain scores were significantly reduced in the EEA group in comparison to the control group, with delayed 1st request of postoperative analgesia.
Electric ear acupuncture provides postoperative analgesia, reducing morphine requirement and consequently its side effects.
The trial was registered before enrolment of the first patient at the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry ( www.pactr.org ) database ( PACTR201903770607799 , Date of registration: 5th March 2019).