Acupuncture and acupressure may lead to better recovery in patients undergoing surgery for gynecologic cancers

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Patients undergoing surgery for ovarian and endometrial cancers often experience anxiety and pain. A new study indicates that acupressure before surgery may help reduce anxiety and following this up with acupuncture during surgery may provide an added benefit of lessening severe pain. The research is published by Wiley online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

A total of 99 patients with gynecologic cancers participated in the study co-led by Eran Ben-Arye, MD, of Lin Medical Center, in Haifa, Israel-;45 in Group A, 25 in Group B, and 29 in Group C. Group A participants received acupressure-related touch and relaxation treatments that began within 3 hours prior to surgery and continued until the patient began undergoing general anesthesia; they then received acupuncture therapy during surgery involving points shown to be effective for reducing pain. Group B participants received preoperative acupressure only, and group C participants received standard care. Both before and after surgery, patients completed questionnaires that scored the quality of their recovery and included questions about pain, anxiety, and other quality-of-life parameters.

Postoperative scores overall were higher in Groups A and B-;indicating better recovery-;than scores in Group C. Group A scores related to severe pain were significantly higher than Group C scores. Both intervention groups had higher scores than controls in terms of scores related to anxiety and depression.

The inclusion of preoperative integrative medical touch and relaxation therapies for anxiety, along with intraoperative acupuncture for pain and other quality of life-related concerns, should be considered for patients undergoing gynecological oncology surgery. Training in such 'integrative oncology' is needed 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 setting."

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

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

Journal reference:

Ben-Arye, E., et al. (2023) Acupuncture during gynecological oncology surgery: A randomized controlled trial assessing the impact of integrative therapies on perioperative pain and anxiety. Cancer.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Non-invasive detection and treatment of ovarian cancer with new radiotheranostic system