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Acupuncture to Improve Surgical Outcomes

Preparing for and, later, recovering from a surgical procedure, no matter how small, takes time and energy. Here are six benefits of acupuncture:

 

  • relieve pain and anxiety

  • decrease the need for opioids

  • relax and sleep better

  • improve peristalsis and decrease nausea

  • dial down inflammation

  • improve blood circulation

  • decrease swelling

  • fasten wound healing

  • facilitate early ambulation

  • reduce scarring

 

Acupuncture is purported to facilitate wound healing by means of decreased sympathetic nervous system activation. The latter promotes local vasodilation (thus perfusion), decreases peri wound edema, and improves oxygen delivery to the affected tissues. Additionally, acupuncture (electroacupuncture in particular) has been shown to promote angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) and increase the levels of wound healing accelerators such as fibroblast growth factors (FGF) and platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF).

Surgical lights

References

Lee, J. A., Jeong, H. J., Park, H. J., Jeon, S., & Hong, S. U. (2011). Acupuncture accelerates wound healing in burn-injured mice. Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries, 37(1), 117–125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2010.07.005 Park, S. I., Sunwoo, Y. Y., Jung, Y. J., Chang, W. C., Park, M. S., Chung, Y. A., Maeng, L. S., Han, Y. M., Shin, H. S., Lee, J., & Lee, S. H. (2012). Therapeutic Effects of Acupuncture through Enhancement of Functional Angiogenesis and Granulogenesis in Rat Wound Healing. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 464586. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/464586 Wang, T. T., Yuan, Y., Kang, Y., Yuan, W. L., Zhang, H. T., Wu, L. Y., & Feng, Z. T. (2005). Effects of acupuncture on the expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2/bFGF) in the left sixth lumbar dorsal root ganglion following removal of adjacent dorsal root ganglia. Neuroscience letters, 382(3), 236–241. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2005.03.020 Lee, J. A., Jeong, H. J., Park, H. J., Jeon, S., & Hong, S. U. (2011). Acupuncture accelerates wound healing in burn-injured mice. Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries, 37(1), 117–125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2010.07.005 Park, S. I., Sunwoo, Y. Y., Jung, Y. J., Chang, W. C., Park, M. S., Chung, Y. A., Maeng, L. S., Han, Y. M., Shin, H. S., Lee, J., & Lee, S. H. (2012). Therapeutic Effects of Acupuncture through Enhancement of Functional Angiogenesis and Granulogenesis in Rat Wound Healing. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 464586. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/464586 Wang, T. T., Yuan, Y., Kang, Y., Yuan, W. L., Zhang, H. T., Wu, L. Y., & Feng, Z. T. (2005). Effects of acupuncture on the expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2/bFGF) in the left sixth lumbar dorsal root ganglion following removal of adjacent dorsal root ganglia. Neuroscience letters, 382(3), 236–241. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2005.03.020

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