Children receiving acupuncture plus antiemetic therapy have less risk of developing postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) following tonsillectomy, according to a US study. In a randomised double-blind trial, 161 children aged 3-9 undergoing tonsillectomy were randomised to either bilateral acupuncture at Neiguan P-6 plus antiemetics (ondansetron and dexamethasone), or antiemetics only. During phase I and II post-surgical recovery, the incidence of PONV was significantly less with acupuncture than without (7.0% vs 34.7%). The difference in PONV was driven by less nausea in the acupuncture group (5.0% vs 24.0%), with no difference in vomiting between the two groups. In the first 24 hours, PONV occurred in 36.1% of those who had received acupuncture and 49.3% who had not (a non-significant difference).

Randomized trial of acupuncture with antiemetics for reducing postoperative nausea in children. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2018 Nov 6.