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Acupuncture for post-operative pain after inguinal hernia repair: a placebo controlled, double-blinded clinical trial

Author(s): Raji B | Jalali S.M | Noyan Ashraf M.A | Sharifi M | Peyravi Sereshke H

Journal: Tehran University Medical Journal
ISSN 1683-1764

Volume: 65;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 36;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Acupuncture | post-operative pain | inguinal hernia repair

Background: Acupuncture is one of the most effective methods of alleviating pain in different situations including chronic and acute pain management. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture in the reduction of post-operative pain after hernia repair.Methods: In this placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial, we enrolled 60 male patients aged 30 to 60 years old with an ASA physical status of I or II undergoing elective inguinal hernia repair under general anesthesia in Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran, Iran. All patients experienced standard anesthetic and surgical procedures. After completion of the operation and while the patients were still under general anesthesia, they were randomly assigned to two groups: acupuncture (with stimulation of GV2, GV4 and SP6 points with sterile acupuncture needles), and control (with sham acupuncture stimulation). After termination of anesthesia, during the first six hours, the pain intensity was evaluated hourly. Pethidine (25 mg) was administered for the patients when necessary. Pain intensity and pethidine use were recorded and compared between the two groups.Results: The mean age of two groups did not differ. Pain intensity was significantly lower in the acupuncture group between the second and fifth postoperative hours. Moreover, pethidine use was significantly lower in the acupuncture group versus the control group during the first six hours after surgery (12.07±7.5 mg vs. 12.91±6.5 mg, respectively; p=0.0001).Conclusion: The application of acupuncture in patients is associated with a marked decrease in pain after inguinal hernia repair and does not have any serious complications. Acupuncture is strongly recommended for all post-operative patients."n 
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