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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 120486, 7 pages
Research Article

Treating Postlaparoscopic Surgery Shoulder Pain with Acupuncture

1Complementary and Integrative Surgery Service, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, 47 Golomb Street, 31048 Haifa, Israel
2School of Public Health, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, 31905 Haifa, Israel
3Faculty of Management, Tel-Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040 , 69978 Tel-Aviv, Israel
4Department of General Surgery, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, 47 Golomb Street, 31048 Haifa, Israel
5Complementary and Traditional Medicine Unit, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Technion International School, Mauerberger building, 2nd floor, Technion City, 3200003 Haifa, Israel
6Department of Internal Medicine, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, 47 Golomb Street, 31048 Haifa, Israel
7The Department of Complementary/Integrative Medicine, Law and Ethics, The International Center for Health, Law and Ethics, Haifa University, 199 Aba Khoushy Avenue, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel

Received 5 December 2013; Revised 14 March 2014; Accepted 30 March 2014; Published 23 April 2014

Academic Editor: Vitaly Napadow

Copyright © 2014 Gur Kreindler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of acupuncture on postlaparoscopic shoulder pain (PLSP) which is a common side effect in patients undergoing abdominal laparoscopic surgery. Methods. Patients with moderate to severe PLSP in spite of analgesic treatment, which were referred by the medical staff to the Complementary-Integrative Surgery Service (CISS) at our institution, were provided with acupuncture treatment. The severity of PLSP and of general pain was assessed using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) from 0 to 10. Pain assessment was conducted prior to and two hours following acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture treatment was individualized based on traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis. Results. A total of 25 patients were evaluated during a 14-month period, from March 2011 to May 2012. A significant reduction in PLSP (mean reduction of ) and general pain (mean reduction ) were observed, and no significant side effects were reported. Conclusion. Individualized acupuncture treatments according to traditional Chinese medicine principles may improve postlaparoscopic shoulder pain and general pain when used in conjunction with conventional therapy. The primary findings of this study warrant verification in controlled studies.