Integrative Approaches to Minimize Peri-operative Symptoms

Fahad Faruqi, Kathryn J. Ruddy, Shanda Blackmon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Cancer patients who require surgery often experience peri-operative symptoms, including nausea, anxiety, and pain, which can significantly impair quality of life. Here, we review the evidence for using integrative approaches to manage these peri-operative symptoms. Recent Findings: Conventional peri-operative pharmacologic interventions, such as opiates for pain control, can lead to adverse effects such as respiratory depression, prolonged hospital course, and long-term dependence. Integrative medicine, also known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), has been explored as way to reduce peri-operative symptoms. Acupuncture, guided imagery, and loving-kindness meditation have all shown potential efficacy in reducing both peri-operative pain and anxiety in retrospective studies and small randomized controlled trials. Summary: Integrative medicine techniques, such as acupuncture, are a promising approach to control peri-operative symptoms without the associated adverse effects of more conventional pharmacologic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
JournalCurrent oncology reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Acupuncture
  • CAM
  • Complementary medicine
  • Guided imagery
  • Integrative medicine
  • Loving-kindness meditation
  • PTPS
  • Peri-operative symptoms
  • Post-thoracotomy pain syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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