Dr Simon and colleagues from Hong Kong investigated the efficacy of electroacupuncture in reducing the duration of postoperative ileus and hospital stay after laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer.
The researchers performed a prospective study of 165 patients undergoing elective laparoscopic surgery for colonic and upper rectal cancer, enrolled from 2008 to 2010.
Patients were assigned randomly to groups that received electroacupuncture or sham acupuncture, once daily from postoperative days 1–4, or no acupuncture.
The researchers found that the acupoints Zusanli, Sanyinjiao, Hegu, and Zhigou were used. The primary outcome was time to defecation.
Secondary outcomes included postoperative analgesic requirement, time to ambulation, and length of hospital stay.
|Patients who received electroacupuncture had a shorter time to defecation |
The doctors noted that patients who received electroacupuncture had a shorter time to defecation than patients who received no acupuncture and length of hospital stay.
Patients who received electroacupuncture also had a shorter time to defecation than patients who received sham acupuncture.
The researchers found that electroacupuncture was more effective than no or sham acupuncture in reducing postoperative analgesic requirement, and time to ambulation.
The team noted that absence of complications and electroacupuncture were associated with a shorter duration of postoperative ileus and hospital stay after the surgery.
Dr Simon's team concluded, "In a clinical trial, electroacupuncture reduced the duration of postoperative ileus, time to ambulation, and postoperative analgesic requirement, compared with no or sham acupuncture, after laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer."