PROSPECT guideline for oncological breast surgery: a systematic review and procedure-specific postoperative pain management recommendations

A Jacobs, A Lemoine, G P Joshi, M Van de Velde, F Bonnet
Anaesthesia 2020, 75 (5): 664-673
Analgesic protocols used to treat pain after breast surgery vary significantly. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the available literature on this topic and develop recommendations for optimal pain management after oncological breast surgery. A systematic review using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis guidance with procedure-specific postoperative pain management (PROSPECT) methodology was undertaken. Randomised controlled trials assessing postoperative pain using analgesic, anaesthetic or surgical interventions were identified. Seven hundred and forty-nine studies were found, of which 53 randomised controlled trials and nine meta-analyses met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. Quantitative analysis suggests that dexamethasone and gabapentin reduced postoperative pain. The use of paravertebral blocks also reduced postoperative pain scores, analgesia consumption and the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Intra-operative opioid requirements were documented to be lower when a pectoral nerves block was performed, which also reduced postoperative pain scores and opioid consumption. We recommend basic analgesics (i.e. paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) administered pre-operatively or intra-operatively and continued postoperatively. In addition, pre-operative gabapentin and dexamethasone are also recommended. In major breast surgery, a regional anaesthetic technique such as paravertebral block or pectoral nerves block and/or local anaesthetic wound infiltration may be considered for additional pain relief. Paravertebral block may be continued postoperatively using catheter techniques. Opioids should be reserved as rescue analgesics in the postoperative period. Research is needed to evaluate the role of novel regional analgesic techniques such as erector spinae plane or retrolaminar plane blocks combined with basic analgesics in an enhanced recovery setting.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"