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Thyroidectomy Under Acupuncture Anesthesia

Surgery under acupuncture anesthesia has been intriguing American doctors since the early '70s when President Nixon allowed American doctors, mostly anesthesiologists, to visit China. They returned with stories of this amazing technique. Even the most skeptical doctors had to accept what they were seeing. Some 20 years later, I had the opportunity to be at the operating table during surgery.

Patient Operating Team

(Top) The patient is awake and talking during the surgery.


(Bottom left) The anesthesiologist monitors the patient. (Bottom right) The acupuncture machine generates the electrical stimulation.

On my way to surgery.


I was ready but was not called on for surgery. I must admit, thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid) is out of my field.

Immediately after the dressings were applied, the patient is alert and sips tea. (Right) She removes her hospital gown and gets ready to walk to her bed.

The smiling patient thanks her surgeon, who is proud of her. He shows us how successful acupuncture anesthesia is in surgery. But we could see the  results immediately. Acupuncture anesthesia is a powerful technique, yet gentle to the patient.

Surgery goes better with excellent nurses and a strong support team, regardless of the culture.



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