Researchers conclude that acupuncture is an effective adjunct to standard analgesic pharmaceuticals in post-hemorrhoidectomy patients. A randomized controlled trial of 50 patients was divided into three study groups. The first group received only standard analgesic pharmaceutical drugs (diclofenac and metamizol internally with local lidocaine). The second study group received standard analgesic drugs alternating with acupuncture. The third group received standard analgesic drugs alternating with sham acupuncture. Sham acupuncture is the use of non-acupuncture point locations for needle insertion.
The acupuncture group and standard analgesic pharmaceutical drug only groups had similar reductions in pain after surgery. The sham acupuncture group did not perform well compared with the true acupuncture group- sham acupuncture did not provide the pain relief that true acupuncture provided. The researchers note, for example, that on the day following the surgery to remove the hemorrhoids; standard analgesic drugs and true acupuncture both provided significant pain relief when administered. The sham acupuncture did not provide significant pain relief. In addition, the researchers note that “less rescue analgesics were necessary” if true acupuncture was administered to the patients.
Randomized sham-controlled trial of acupuncture for postoperative pain control after stapled hemorrhoidopexy. Mike Ralf Langenbach1, Kezban Aydemir-Dogruyol1, Roland Issel2, Stefan Sauerland3. DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2012.02984.x. Colorectal Disease. 2012 The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.
1 Helios St. Elisabeth Klinik Oberhausen, Department of Surgery II, University of Witten/Herdecke, Oberhausen, Germany
2 Helios St. Elisabeth Klinik Oberhausen, Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care, and Pain Therapy, Oberhausen, Germany
3 Institute for Research in Operative Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Cologne, Germany