Acupressure wristbands for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting in adults undergoing cardiac surgery

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2004 Feb;18(1):68-71. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2003.10.014.


Objective: To determine whether the application of acupressure bands would lead to a reduction in postoperative nausea and vomiting after cardiac surgery.

Design: Prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical trial.

Setting: University-affiliated tertiary care teaching hospital.

Participants: Adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

Interventions: One hundred fifty-two patients were enrolled to receive either acupressure treatment (n = 75) or placebo (n = 77). All patients had acupressure bands placed on both wrists before induction of anesthesia; those in the treatment group had a bead placed in contact with the P6 point on the forearm.

Measurements and main results: Patients were assessed for nausea, vomiting, and pain scores during the first 24 hours of the postoperative period. The incidences of nausea, vomiting, pain scores, and analgesic and antiemetic requirements were similar between the 2 groups. A subgroup analysis by gender implied that acupressure treatment may be effective only in female patients.

Conclusion: Acupressure treatment did not lead to a reduction in nausea, vomiting, or antiemetic requirements in patients after cardiac surgery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure / instrumentation*
  • Acupressure / methods*
  • Age Factors
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morphine / therapeutic use
  • Pain Measurement / statistics & numerical data
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting / prevention & control*
  • Propofol / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Wrist / physiology


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Antiemetics
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Morphine
  • Propofol