Laser acupuncture reduces post-operative vomiting in children by 60% according to new research published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia. A recent double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of laser acupuncture applied to acupuncture point P6 in the treatment of postoperative vomiting in children concludes that laser acupuncture reduces vomiting by 60% for children undergoing strabismus surgery.
Laser acupuncture at P6 (Neiguan) was applied for 15 minutes before anesthesia and 15 minutes after arriving in the recovery room with a low-level laser diode for a period of 30 seconds each time. The output of the laser is a continuous 10mW with a wavelength of 670nm. The study concludes that the “incidence of vomiting was significantly lower in the acupuncture group.”
The study also notes that the timing of the acupuncture treatment is of key importance. The authors cite that stimulation with the laser acupuncture must precede induction of anesthesia to achieve optimum results. The researchers reviewed several studies that did not find acupuncture and electro-acupuncture at P6 effective for several types of postoperative vomiting and note that these studies failed to apply acupuncture prior to induction of anesthesia. They suggest that all new research uses the protocol of applying acupuncture prior to anesthesia and following completion of the surgical procedure.
A Schlager, T Offer, and I Baldissera; Laser stimulation of acupuncture point P6 reduces postoperative vomiting in children undergoing strabismus surgery. Br. J. Anaesth. (1998) 81(4): 529-532 doi:10.1093/bja/81.4.529