The Efficacy of P6 Acupressure With Sea-Band in Reducing Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting in Patients Undergoing Craniotomy: A Randomized, Double-blinded, Placebo-controlled Study

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Abstract

Background:

Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is a multifactorial problem after general anesthesia. Despite antiemetic prophylaxis and improved anesthetic techniques, PONV still occurs frequently after craniotomies. P6 stimulation is described as an alternative method for preventing PONV. The primary aim of this study was to determine whether P6 acupressure with Sea-Band could reduce postoperative nausea after elective craniotomy. Secondary aims were to investigate whether the frequency of vomiting and the need for antiemetics could be reduced.

Methods:

In this randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, patients were randomized into either a P6 acupressure group (n=43) or a sham group (n=52). Bands were applied unilaterally at the end of surgery, and all patients were administered prophylactic ondansetron. Postoperative nausea was evaluated with a Numerical Rating Scale, 0 to10, and the frequency of vomiting was recorded for 48 hours.

Results:

We found no significant effect from P6 acupressure with Sea-Band on postoperative nausea or vomiting in patients undergoing craniotomy. Nor was there any difference in the need for rescue antiemetics. Altogether, 67% experienced PONV, and this was especially an issue at >24 hours in patients recovering from infratentorial surgery compared with supratentorial surgery (55% vs. 26%; P=0.014).

Conclusions:

Unilateral P6 acupressure with Sea-Band applied at the end of surgery together with prophylactic ondansetron did not significantly reduce PONV or the need for rescue antiemetics in patients undergoing craniotomy. Our study confirmed that PONV is a common issue after craniotomy, especially after infratentorial surgery.

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