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Fleckenstein, J.; Bäumler, P.; Gurschler, C.; Weissenbacher, T.; Annecke, T.; Geisenberger, T. and Irnich, D. (2018): Acupuncture reduces the time from extubation to 'ready for discharge' from the post anaesthesia care unit: results from the randomised controlled AcuARP trial. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, 15734 [PDF, 1MB]


Acupuncture may improve peri-operative care as it reduces post-operative symptoms, such as pain, nausea and vomiting, or sedation. This patient-assessor blinded, randomised trial in 75 women undergoing gynaecologic laparoscopy evaluated the effects of acupuncture combined with a standardised anaesthetic regimen (ACU) on post-anaesthetic recovery, when compared to acupressure (APU) or standard anaesthesia alone (CON). Main outcome measure was the time from extubation to 'ready for discharge' from recovery as assessed by validated questionnaires. The main outcome differed significantly between groups (p = 0.013). Median time to ready for discharge in the ACU group (30 (IQR: 24-41) min) was 16 minutes (35%) shorter than in the CON group (46 (36-64) min;p = 0.015) and tended to be shorter than in the APU group (43 (31-58) min;p = 0.08). Compared to CON (p = 0.029), median time to extubation was approximately 7 minutes shorter in both, the ACU and the APU group. No acupuncture or acupressure-related side-effects could be observed. A difference in time to recovery of 16 minutes compared to standard alone can be considered clinically relevant. Thus, results of this study encourage the application of acupuncture in gynaecological laparoscopy as it improves postanaesthetic recovery.

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