Electro-acupuncture for pain relief after nasal septoplasty: a randomized controlled study

J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jan;16(1):53-7. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0288.


Background: Electro-acupuncture (EA) can be effective in some pain conditions, but still there have been no randomized controlled studies of EA for treatment of acute postoperative pain in nasal septoplasty. Therefore, we did a study to test whether EA of specific points is superior to sham acupuncture for complementary analgesia after nasal septoplasty.

Methods: Ninety (90) patients with an American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) physical status of I-II scheduled for elective septoplasty were randomly allocated to acupuncture group or control group. Postoperative pain was treated with intravenous meperidine. The time to the first analgesic request, and pain intensity on a 100-mm visual analogue scale (VAS-100) were used to evaluate postoperative pain, and the amount of postoperative meperidine and incidence of analgesia related to side-effects were recorded.

Results: Postoperative pain intensity on VAS-100 and respiratory depression were similar in both groups (p > 0.05), but nausea and vomiting were less in the acupuncture group than in the control group (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Findings from our study demonstrate that both uses of EA and 0.1 mg/kg IV morphine given intraoperatively resulted in a similar postoperative pain score, and meperidine was not given in any patient in the two groups during postoperative period because the VAS scores of all patients were less than 40 mm.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analgesia / methods*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electroacupuncture*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Meperidine / therapeutic use
  • Nausea / etiology
  • Nausea / prevention & control
  • Nose / surgery*
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Management*
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy*
  • Vomiting / etiology
  • Vomiting / prevention & control
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Meperidine