Acupuncture reduces haemorrhoid surgery pain

Background: Mixed haemorrhoids are a common anorectal disorder, surgery is the most effective means of eradicating haemorrhoids, and pain is the most common postoperative complication of mixed haemorrhoids.

Objective: To compare the clinical efficacy of auricular plaster, acupoint application, and acupoint catgut embedding for treating postoperative pain in mixed haemorrhoids

Method: PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, CNKI, Wanfang, VIP, and CBM databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of three acupuncture-related therapies for postoperative pain in mixed hemorrhoids from the time of database creation to October 2021. After screening the literature, extracting information, and evaluating the risk of bias of included studies, statistical analysis was performed using RevMan 5.3 and Stata 15.0.

Result: Forty-seven RCTs with a total of 5121 patients were included. Network meta-analysis (NMA) showed that auricular plaster (OR = 5.90, 95% CI = (2.02, 17.21)) and acupoint catgut embedding therapy (OR = 5.55, 95% CI = (1.01, 30.40)) were more effective than analgesics in the treatment of postoperative pain in mixed hemorrhoids. The cumulative ranking probability (SUCRA) showed that acupoint application (73.6%) had the best overall efficacy and the rest were auricular plaster (68.7%), acupoint catgut embedding therapy (64.6%), auricular plaster combined with acupoint application (63.4%), and pain medication (8.9%) in that order.

Secondly, auricular plaster (OR = -0.93, 95% CI = (-1.66, -0.20)), acupoint catgut embedding (OR = -0.8, 95% CI = (-1.50, -0.10)), and acupoint application (OR = -1.4, 95% CI = (-2.50, -0.31)) all led to a significant decrease in pain scores and were all more effective than analgesics. As ranked by SUCRA, the results showed that the efficacy of acupoint application (73.5%) was optimal and the rest were auricular plaster (56.1%), acupoint catgut embedding (50.2%), and pain medication (15.3%) in that order. In terms of pain degree, acupoint application (OR = 3.83, 95% CI = (1.25, 11.74)) was significantly better than pain medication.

Conclusion: Acupoint application can improve the overall efficiency, reduce pain scores, and relieve the degree of postoperative pain in mixed haemorrhoids.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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