Background: Antiemetic drugs are costly, are associated with variable efficacy, and can produce unwanted side effects when used for prophylaxis against postoperative nausea and vomiting. This clinical study was designed to compare the efficacy of transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation using a Relief-Band® to ondansetron (Zofran®) when utilized alone or in combination for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting after plastic surgery. Methods: A single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo and sham-controlled study design was conducted to compare three prophylactic antiemetic treatment regimens in 120 outpatients undergoing plastic surgery procedures with routine low-dose droperidol prophylaxis: (1) ondansetron (n = 40), 4 mg intravenous ondansetron and a sham ReliefBand®; (2) acustimulation (n = 40), 2 ml intravenous saline and an active ReliefBand®; and (3) combination (n = 40), 4 mg intravenous ondansetron and an active ReliefBand®. The incidences of postoperative nausea and vomiting, as well as the need for "rescue" antiemetics, were determined at specific time intervals for up to 72 h after surgery. The outcome variables assessed included recovery times, quality of recovery score, time to resumption of normal diet, and patient satisfaction with the prophylactic antiemetic therapy. Results: Use of the ReliefBand® in combination with ondansetron significantly reduced nausea (20 vs. 50%), vomiting (0 vs. 20%), and the need for rescue antiemetics (10 vs. 37%) compared with ondansetron alone at 24 h after surgery. Furthermore, the ability to resume a normal diet (74 vs. 35%) within 24 h after surgery was significantly improved when the ReliefBand® was used to supplement ondansetron (vs. ondansetron alone). Finally, the quality of recovery (90 ± 10 vs. 70 ± 20) and patient satisfaction (94 ± 10 vs. 75 ± 22) scores were significantly higher in the combination group versus the ondansetron group. There were no significant differences between the ReliefBand® and ondansetron when administered as adjuvants to droperidol for antiemetic prophylaxis. Conclusions: The ReliefBand® compared favorably to ondansetron (4 mg intravenously) when used for prophylaxis against postoperative nausea and vomiting. Furthermore, the acustimulation device enhanced the antiemetic efficacy of ondansetron after plastic surgery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine