Background and Aims Multimodal analgesia protocols have become the standard of care.1 However, there is a paucity of evidence regarding non-pharmacological interventions.
So far, very little attention has been paid to perioperative acupuncture as part of a multimodal analgesia protocol.2,3
The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential role of acupuncture as an adjunct for multimodal analgesia and enhanced recovery after elective CS.
Methods Prospective data collected on 25 consecutive patients undergoing elective CS between January-March 2022. Informed consent obtained from all patients involved in this case series.The analgesia protocol is shown in Figure 1. Figure 2 shows an Acu-block.
Results Outcomes are shown in Table 1. No patient received additional opioids during their hospital stay. The incision wound was still felt numb 24 hours after the TAP block performed. All patients achieved DREAM by POD1. All patients who had a previous CS reported an improved experience this time. 10 patients were very anxious and requested iv sedation after baby delivery; they were offered acupuncture which had a calming effect and waived the need for sedation.
Conclusions Our analgesia protocol achieved an opioid and pain-free recovery after CS. A session of intraoperative acupuncture after baby delivery may have analgesic, antiemetic and calming effects, with the advantage of avoiding opioid side effects, PONV and sedatives, which may negatively impact on recovery and childcare.4 Interestingly, TAP blocks resulted in prolonged sensory blockade.5 Whether acupuncture has the potential to prolong the analgesic effect of peripheral nerve blocks is an important issue for future research.