Magnetic acupuncture (MA) can be used as a noninvasive technique for reducing post-operative pain in children undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy (LA), report German investigators. A total of 126 children having LA for acute appendicitis were randomised to three groups. Group 1 had adhesive acupuncture magnets placed on five acupoints for a period of 48 hours. Group 2 had non-magnetic adhesive metal disks placed in the same locations. Group 3 received no treatment. Standardised post-operative analgesics and narcotics were given on request. Supplemental MA was found to lead to significant reduction of post-operative pain levels, compared with either sham or no-treatment (VAS pain levels in the three groups were 8 versus 12.8 versus 19.8 respectively). Cumulative acetaminophen and ibuprofen use per patient during the entire hospital stay was lower for group 1 (1510 mg, 20 mg) than for group 2 (2950 mg, 1800 mg) and group 3 (6100 mg, 2300 mg), respectively. In contrast to groups 2 and 3, none of the patients in group 1 requested narcotics. Patients reported that they were highly satisfied with MA.

A randomized, placebo-controlled study of magnetic acupuncture for supplementary analgesia after laparoscopic appendectomy in children. J Pediatr Surg. 2023 Jan;58(1):64-69.