Evaluating efficacy and feasibility of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for postoperative pain after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery: A randomized pilot trial

Deborah J. Engen, Paul E. Carns, Mark S. Allen, Brent A Bauer, Laura L. Loehrer, Stephen S. Cha, Christine M. Chartrand, Eric J. Eggler, Susanne M. Cutshall, Dietlind L. Wahner-Roedler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) has been applied for pain relief after surgical procedures. This study evaluated whether TENS after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), in addition to opioid administration, decreased postoperative pain and pain medication use. Methods: In a controlled trial, 56 patients scheduled to undergo VATS were randomly assigned to TENS plus opioids (Group 1) or opioids alone (Group 2) for 48h. Results: Forty patients completed the study. Pain scores and use of oral morphine equivalents (OMEs) were not significantly different between the groups during the first and second 24h. A decreased use of OMEs between the first and second 24h was significant for Group 1 (P=.005) but not for Group 2 (P=.11); a decreased use of OMEs between groups was not significant (P=.35). Conclusions: A larger, well-powered clinical trial is indicated to evaluate the effects of TENS for pain control after a VATS procedure.Clinical Trial No.: NCT01046695.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2015

Keywords

  • Postoperative pain
  • TENS
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • VATS
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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