MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighty patients for laparoscopic surgery with at least one of the determined risks (nonsmoker, female, previous PONV/motion sickness, or postoperative opioid use) were randomized into either an active or sham group. At the end of surgery, Reletex electrical acustimulation was placed at the P6 acupoint. The active group had grade 3 strength and the sham group had inactivated electrodes covered by silicone. It was worn for 24 h following surgery. PONV scores were recorded.
RESULTS: The active group had significantly shorter durations of surgery and lower PONV incidence over 24 h (35.1% versus 64.9%, P = 0.024) and this was attributed to the lower incidence of nausea (31.4% versus 68.6%, P = 0.006). The overall incidence of vomiting was not significantly different between the groups, but it was higher in the sham group of patients with PONV risk score 3 (23.9%, P = 0.049).
CONCLUSION: In patients at high risk for PONV, P6 acupoint electrical stimulation lowers the PONV incidence by reducing the nausea component. However, this reduction in nausea is not related to increasing PONV risk scores.