Acupuncture and acupressure may improve recovery for patients undergoing surgery for gynecological cancers

Patients who undergo ovarian and endometrial cancer surgery often experience anxiety and pain. A new study suggests that acupressure before surgery may help reduce anxiety and follow through Acupuncture During surgery it may provide the additional benefit of severe pain relief. Research published by Wiley online in cancera peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

A total of 99 patients with gynecological cancers participated in the study, which was co-led by Eran Ben-Ari, MD, of Lin Medical Center, in Haifa, Israel-; 45 in Group A, 25 in Group B, and 29 in Group C. Participants in group A received pressure-related touch and relaxation treatments that began within 3 hours before surgery and continued until the patient began to undergo general anesthesia; They then received acupuncture treatment during the surgery that includes points that have been shown to be effective in reducing pain. Participants in group B received acupressure only before surgery, and those in group C received standard care. Before and after surgery, patients completed questionnaires that recorded the quality of their recovery and included questions about pain, anxiety, and other measures of quality of life.

Postoperative scores were generally higher in groups A and B-; which indicates better recovery-; Group A’s scores related to severe pain were significantly higher than those of group C. Both intervention groups had higher scores than controls in terms of scores related to anxiety and depression.

The inclusion of complementary medical touch and relaxation therapies for preoperative anxiety, along with intraoperative acupuncture for pain and other quality of life concerns, should be considered for patients undergoing gynecologic oncological surgery. Training in “Integrative Oncology” is required for complementary medicine providers, acupuncturists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and operating room nurses, who need to work together and communicate with integrative oncology practitioners in the complex operating room. “

Dr.. Eran Ben-Ari, MD, Lin Medical Center, Haifa, Israel

An accompanying editorial notes that integrative oncology is gaining acceptance as a clinical field by Western medicine. Author Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, MACP, FRCP, of Sydney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, emphasized that although larger studies are needed to confirm the findings, the data add to a growing body of literature to support reimbursement. For integrative oncology interventions such as acupuncture.


Journal reference:

Ben-Ari, E.; et al. (2023) Acupuncture during gynecologic oncological surgery: a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of integrative therapies on perioperative pain and anxiety. cancer.

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