Efficacy and Safety of Ketamine Added to Local Anesthetic in Modified Pectoral Block for Management of Postoperative Pain in Patients Undergoing Modified Radical Mastectomy

Ahmed H Othman, Ahmad M Abd El-Rahman, Fatma El Sherif
Pain Physician 2016, 19 (7): 485-94

BACKGROUND: Breast surgery is an exceedingly common procedure with an increased incidence of acute and chronic pain. Pectoral nerve block is a novel peripheral nerve block alternative to neuro-axial and paravertebral blocks for ambulatory breast surgeries.

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to compare the analgesic efficacy and safety of modified Pecs block with ketamine plus bupivacaine versus bupivacaine in patients undergoing breast cancer surgery.

STUDY DESIGN: A randomized, double-blind, prospective study.

SETTING: Academic medical center.

METHODS: This study is registered at under number: (NCT02620371) after approval by the ethics committee of South Egypt Cancer Institute, Assuit University, Assuit, Egypt. Sixty patients aged 18 - 60 years scheduled for modified radical mastectomy were enrolled and randomly assigned into 2 groups (30 patients each): Control group patients were given ultrasound-guided, Pecs block with 30 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine only. Ketamine group patients were given ultrasound-guided, Pecs block with 30 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine plus ketamine hydrochloride (1 mg/kg). Patients were followed up for 48 hours postoperatively for vital signs, VAS score, first request of rescue analgesia and total morphine consumption, sedation score, and side effects.

RESULTS: Ketamine plus bupivacaine in Pecs block compared to bupivacaine alone prolonged the mean time of first request of analgesia (18.25 ± 1.98), (12.56 ± 2.64), respectively (P < 0.001), reduced total morphine consumption (12.50 ± 4.63), (18.86 ± 6.28), respectively (P = 0.016). With no significant difference in hemodynamics, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, VAS and sedation scores, and side effects observed between the 2 groups (P > 0.05).

LIMITATIONS: This study is limited by its sample size.

CONCLUSION: The addition of ketamine to modified Pecs block prolonged the time to first request of analgesia and reduced total opioid consumption without serious side effects in patients who underwent a modified radical mastectomy.

KEY WORDS: Ketamine, bupivacaine, pecs block, postoperative, pain, breast cancer.

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