Reduction of postoperative pain and narcotic use by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

Surgery. 1980 Feb;87(2):142-6.


Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) was evaluated as a postoperative analgesic. Patients undergoing lumbar spine operations, hip surgery, and gynecological laparotomies were studied. Sterile electrodes, placed near the incision immediately after operation, were connected to a continuously operating stimulator for 48 hours after operation. Results from 46 experimental patients demonstrated that TENS could reduce the demand for postoperative narcotics in a group of patients who had not used narcotic analgesics before operation. No significant benefit was observed for patients who had used narcotics prior to operation.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Female
  • Gynecology / methods
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • MMPI
  • Male
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use*
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy*
  • Psychological Tests


  • Narcotics