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Anesth Analg. 2009 Mar;108(3):992-6. doi: 10.1213/ane.0b013e318195b78f.

Capsicum plaster at the Hegu point reduces postoperative analgesic requirement after orthognathic surgery.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Hanyang University Hospital, #17 Haengdang dong, Sungdong gu, Seoul 133-792, Korea.



Capsicum plaster at classical Chinese acupoints is an alternative to acupuncture, which has been used as an effective method for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting, sore throat, and pain. In this study, we investigated the postoperative analgesic efficacy of capsicum plaster at Hegu (LI 4) acupoints in patients after bilateral sagittal split ramus osteotomy.


A double-blind, sham-controlled study was conducted with 84 patients undergoing orthognathic surgery, and who were randomly assigned to three treatment regimens (n = 28 each): Hegu group = capsicum plaster at Hegu acupoints and placebo tape on the shoulders as a nonacupoint; sham group = capsicum plaster on the shoulders and placebo tape at Hegu acupoints; and control group = placebo tape at Hegu acupoints and on the shoulders. The capsicum plaster was applied before induction of anesthesia and maintained for 8 h per day for 3 postoperative days.


The total amount of patient-controlled analgesia, containing 6.5 microg/mL fentanyl and 1.2 mg/mL ketorolac, administered in the first 24 h after the operation was decreased in the Hegu group (26.8 +/- 3.4 mL) compared with the control (44.2 +/- 7.3 mL) and sham (42.1 +/- 6.9 mL) groups (P < 0.01). The incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting and the need for rescue medication were reduced, and the overall satisfaction score was greater in the Hegu group compared with other groups (P < 0.01).


The capsicum plaster at the Hegu acupoints decreased the postoperative opioid requirements and opioid-related side effects in patients after orthognathic surgery.

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