Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study finds acupuncture effective in treating pain after tonsillectomy surgery

Date:
December 13, 2013
Source:
Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego
Summary:
Children had long been prescribed codeine for pain relief after having surgery to remove their tonsils -- until the FDA banned use of the drug in February. Now a new study finds that acupuncture can be a safe and effective alternative.

Children have long been prescribed codeine for pain relief after having surgery to remove their tonsils. However, in February 2013, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of codeine in this setting because of a recently recognized risk of complications.

Dr. James Ochi, a San Diego pediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon who has been in private practice for more than 20 years, conducted a study using acupuncture instead of codeine for pain relief for his tonsillectomy patients. The study was published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, a medical journal exclusively devoted to the subspecialty of pediatric otolaryngology.

"I've been using medical acupuncture for years to help my patients suffer less pain after surgery. Now that it is unsafe to use codeine for these kids, I wanted to see if acupuncture without the use of narcotics was helpful for my patients," said Dr. Ochi. "Acupuncture in general has been shown to be effective in reducing pain, is safe and can be done quickly at minimal cost." Dr. Ochi performed all tonsillectomies at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and the acupuncture treatments at the El Centro Regional Medical Center Outpatient Clinic in El Centro, CA and his office in Encinitas, CA.

In this novel study, 31 patients ranging from 2 to 17 years old received acupuncture after tonsillectomy. Prior to acupuncture treatment, patients or their parents reported a mean pain level of 5.52 out of 10. After about 15 minutes of acupuncture the pain level dropped to 1.92, a statistically significant difference. Furthermore, parents on average estimated the duration of benefit from the acupuncture to last about 2 days. No adverse effects were reported as a result of the drug-free treatments.

Since the FDA ban on the use of codeine, patients must rely on over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol and ibuprofen, which also have risks and adverse effects especially in young patients and may not be effective. Narcotics have long been the mainstay of therapy for children suffering pain after having their tonsils removed. Since it is no longer safe to prescribe opioids, it is paramount to find ways of helping these young patients in an effective and safe manner.

"No matter who performs the surgery or how it's done, children often experience pain for ten days after tonsillectomy, even longer for adults," said Dr. Ochi. "It's extremely gratifying to see a safe and drug free treatment such as acupuncture reduce the pain and discomfort in children after surgery."

While this is a unique study, Harvard Medical School recently showed acupuncture reduced pain and agitation in children undergoing ear surgery.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James W. Ochi. Acupuncture instead of codeine for tonsillectomy pain in children. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 2013; 77 (12): 2058 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2013.10.008

Cite This Page:

Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. "Study finds acupuncture effective in treating pain after tonsillectomy surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131213092854.htm>.
Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. (2013, December 13). Study finds acupuncture effective in treating pain after tonsillectomy surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131213092854.htm
Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. "Study finds acupuncture effective in treating pain after tonsillectomy surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131213092854.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins