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Unilateral Acupuncture Reduces Postoperative Pain Scores in Children Undergoing Adenotonsillectomy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Authors Ismail SA, Atef HM, Abuelnaga ME, Midan HM

Received 6 October 2020

Accepted for publication 12 January 2021

Published 2 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 273—283


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael A Überall

Salah A Ismail, Hossam M Atef, Mohamed E Abuelnaga, Haddier M Midan

Department of Anesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Management, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

Correspondence: Mohamed E Abuelnaga
Department of Anesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Management, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, The Ring Road, P.O. Box: 41522, Ismailia City, Egypt
Tel +201004150671
Fax +20643208543

Purpose: 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.
Methods: 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).
Results: 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.
Conclusion: Combined acupuncture with general anesthesia in children undergoing adenotonsillectomy provided better postoperative pain control with no adverse effects.

Keywords: acupuncture, adenotonsillectomy, postoperative pain

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