The K-D2 point is the Korean hand acupressure point in Koryo Hand Therapy for prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. We evaluated the efficacy of capsaicin ointment at the K-D2 point in 186 patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy in a randomised, prospective, double-blind and placebo-controlled study. Patients were randomised to have either placebo ointment or capsaicin ointment applied to the K-D2 point of both hands 1 h before surgery under standardised anaesthesia. The ointment was removed 8 h later. Postoperative nausea and vomiting was evaluated 6 and 24 h following surgery. The incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting was lower in the capsaicin group, with an absolute risk reduction (ARR) of 21%, a relative risk reduction (RRR) of 50% and a number-needed-to-treat (NNT) of 5 at 0-6 h (p = 0.001), and an ARR of 11%, a RRR of 85% and a NNT of 9 at 6-24 h (p = 0.003). The need for rescue anti-emetic treatment was also lower at 0-6 h (3 (3%) vs 11 (12%); p = 0.04) and at 6-24 h (5 (5%) vs 0; p = 0.02).