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Electro-acupuncture can significantly reduce postoperative (PO) pain and narcotic usage following percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) for renal calculi. American researchers randomised 51 patients undergoing PCNL to verum EA, sham EA (SEA), or no-acupuncture control. In the verum EA group, body points applied were Yintang M-HN-3 plus bilateral Hegu L.I.-4, Sanyangluo SJ-8, Quchi LI-11, Zusanli ST-36, Sanyinjiao SP-6, and Taichong LIV-3. Auricular acupuncture points applied bilaterally were Shenmen, Sympathetic, Kidney, Liver, and Upper Lung. Sanyangluo SJ-8 and Zusanli ST-36 were electro-stimulated at 2 Hz. Scores for flank and abdomen pain were lower at all time periods in the EA group compared with the SEA and control groups. Opioid usage was also lower in the EA group immediately postoperatively compared with both SEA and control groups. Two patients in the EA group did not require any PO narcotics.

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Sham-Controlled Study Assessing Electroacupuncture for the Management of Postoperative Pain after Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy. J Endourol. 2019 Mar;33(3):194-200