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ANZ J Surg. 2003 Mar;73(3):125-7.

Acupuncture anaesthesia in inguinal hernia repair.

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Department of Surgery, United Christian Hospital, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong.



The present study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture anaesthesia in inguinal hernia repair.


Twelve patients with non-recurrent inguinal hernia had Lichtenstein mesh repair under acupuncture anaesthesia. Selected acupuncture loci were stimulated with fine needles connected to low frequency current. Supplementary local anaesthetic was given when required.


Four (33%) patients reported satisfactory analgesic effect throughout the operation without need for additional medication, eight (67%) patients experienced mild discomfort during the operation requiring 1-4 mL of 1% lignocaine injection. Blood pressure and heart rate were stable during the procedure. All patients were able to sit up and resume their diet immediately post-operatively. All but one patient were discharged on day one after the procedure, with no early or late complications reported. Most patients were satisfied with the analgesic effect of acupuncture anaesthesia.


Acupuncture anaesthesia is a feasible anaesthetic option. It reduces the amount of local anaesthetic required, and thus the associated potential complications. It is effective in pain relief and inhibiting gastrointestinal upset. Postoperative recovery was rapid and complication free.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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