An online database search with subsequent article review was performed in order to review the various analgesic modalities for breast cancer surgery. Of 514 abstracts, 284 full-length manuscripts were reviewed. The effect of pharmacologic interventions is varied (NSAIDS, opioids, anticonvulsants, ketamine, lidocaine). Likewise, data from high-quality randomized, controlled studies on wound infiltration (including liposome encapsulated) and infusion of local anesthetic are minimal and conflicting. Conversely, abundant evidence demonstrates paravertebral blocks and thoracic epidural infusions provide effective analgesia and minimize opioid requirements, while decreasing opioid-related side effects in the immediate postoperative period. Other techniques with promising - but extremely limited - data include cervical epidural infusion, brachial plexus, interfascial plane and interpleural blocks. In conclusion, procedural interventions involving regional blocks are more conclusively effective than pharmacologic modalities in providing analgesia to patients following surgery for breast cancer.
- breast cancer
- postoperative pain
- thoracic epidural
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine