Objectives To evaluate whether electroacupuncture (EA) at ST36 can accelerate the recovery of gastrointestinal motility after colorectal surgery.
Methods Forty patients of American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status II and III undergoing elective open resection of malignant colorectal tumours were included in this study. Using a sealed envelope method, the patients were randomly divided into two groups either receiving EA (EA group) or sham EA (SEA group). Data regarding the recovery of bowel function (times to the first bowel sounds, passage of flatus and defaecation) were collected and analysed.
Results In the EA group, the time intervals from surgery to the first bowel movement and passage of flatus were shorter than in the SEA group (13±10 h vs 19±13 h, p<0.05 and 23±14 h vs 32±18 h, p<0.05, respectively). There was no significant difference between the groups regarding the time to first defaecation (68±45 h vs 72±53 h, p>0.05).
Conclusions EA at ST36 accelerates the recovery of gastrointestinal motility after colorectal surgery.
Trial registration JJ22011-15.