Acupuncture ameliorates several pain disorders including postoperative pain. This can help to decrease the need for postoperative analgesics. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture as an adjuvant scheme reduce both intraoperative and postoperative analgesia needs in children undergoing adenotonsillectomy.
This was a randomized controlled single-blinded trial that was performed over sixty children scheduled for adenotonsillectomy. They were randomly allocated to either an intervention group that received general anesthesia plus acupuncture or a control group which received general anesthesia alone. The primary outcome was the measurement of postoperative pain scores. Secondary outcomes included measurement of time to the first request of postoperative analgesia, the number of children requesting postoperative analgesics in the first 2 hours, the incidence of postoperative complications including postoperative nausea and/or vomiting (PONV), and emergence agitation (EA).
AThe Wong-Baker FACES pain scores at rest and on swallowing were significantly lower in the intervention group than in the control group postoperatively. The time to the first request of postoperative analgesia was delayed in the intervention group versus the control group, with less number of patients who have requested additional analgesia during the first 2 hours postoperatively. Postoperative agitation was lower in the intervention group versus the control group patients. However, the incidence of PONV was not statistically different between study groups.