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.
- Postoperative pain
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
- Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine