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      Perioperative Analgesic Modalities for Breast Cancer Surgeries: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial

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          Various analgesic modalities are adopted for perioperative analgesia in breast cancer surgeries. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of intravenous morphine versus serratus anterior plane block (SAPB) and erector spinae plane block (ESPB) in breast cancer surgeries.

          Patients and Methods

          Seventy-five breast cancer patients undergoing modified radical mastectomy from January 2020 to June 2020 were randomly allocated into 3 groups; the morphine group received morphine 0.1 mg/kg, the SAPB group received ultrasound-guided SAPB with 25 mL bupivacaine 0.25% and the ESPB group received ultrasound-guided ESPB with 25 mL bupivacaine 0.25%. A visual analogue scale (VAS) 0–10 was used to evaluate pain postoperatively, where 0 denotes no pain and 10 worst pain. If any patient in the 3 studied groups reported breakthrough pain with VAS ≥ 4 then a bolus of 3 mg morphine was given.


          There was no difference in VAS scores between the 3 groups postoperatively. Morphine consumption was higher in the morphine group (9.19 ± 2.32 mg) than the SAPB group (4.00 ± 1.55 mg) and the ESPB group (4.20 ± 1.64 mg), respectively. First time to receive postoperative morphine was significantly longer for the ESPB and SAPB groups than the morphine group (20.40 ± 4.98 hours), (19.00 ± 5.9 hours), (5.00 ± 4.62 hours), respectively. Intraoperative hemodynamics and fentanyl consumption showed no difference between groups, whereas postoperative mean arterial blood pressure values at 2 and 4 hours were higher in the morphine group. Ramsay sedation score and postoperative nausea and vomiting values in the post anesthesia care unit were higher for the morphine group compared to the SAPB and ESPB groups. No complications related to the blocks were reported.


          SAPB and ESPB can be used as an effective and safe alternative to opioids with fewer side effects in breast cancer patients undergoing modified radical mastectomy.

          Trial Registration

          This trial was prospectively registered at Clinical Trials.gov on 22 January 2020 with registration number NCT04248608 ( https://register.clinicaltrials.gov/prs/app/action/SelectProtocol?sid=S0009JS5&selectaction=Edit&uid=U0004LIG&ts=7&cx=−81xkwa ).

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          Most cited references 26

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          Ultrasound description of Pecs II (modified Pecs I): a novel approach to breast surgery.

          The Pecs block (pectoral nerves block) is an easy and reliable superficial block inspired by the infraclavicular block approach and the transversus abdominis plane blocks. Once the pectoralis muscles are located under the clavicle the space between the two muscles is dissected to reach the lateral pectoral and the medial pectoral nerves. The main indications are breast expanders and subpectoral prosthesis where the distension of these muscles is extremely painful. A second version of the Pecs block is described, called "modified Pecs block" or Pecs block type II. This novel approach aims to block at least the pectoral nerves, the intercostobrachial, intercostals III-IV-V-VI and the long thoracic nerve. These nerves need to be blocked to provide complete analgesia during breast surgery, and it is an alternative or a rescue block if paravertebral blocks and thoracic epidurals failed. This block has been used in our unit in the past year for the Pecs I indications described, and in addition for, tumorectomies, wide excisions, and axillary clearances. The ultrasound sequence to perform this block is shown, together with simple X-ray dye images and gadolinium MRI images to understand the spread and pathways that can explain the benefit of this novel approach. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Anestesiología, Reanimación y Terapéutica del Dolor. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.
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            Early breast cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up†

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              Postoperative pain control.

              The effective relief of pain is of the utmost importance to anyone treating patients undergoing surgery. Pain relief has significant physiological benefits; hence, monitoring of pain relief is increasingly becoming an important postoperative quality measure. The goal for postoperative pain management is to reduce or eliminate pain and discomfort with a minimum of side effects. Various agents (opioid vs. nonopioid), routes (oral, intravenous, neuraxial, regional) and modes (patient controlled vs. "as needed") for the treatment of postoperative pain exist. Although traditionally the mainstay of postoperative analgesia is opioid based, increasingly more evidence exists to support a multimodal approach with the intent to reduce opioid side effects (such as nausea and ileus) and improve pain scores. Enhanced recovery protocols to reduce length of stay in colorectal surgery are becoming more prevalent and include multimodal opioid sparing regimens as a critical component. Familiarity with the efficacy of available agents and routes of administration is important to tailor the postoperative regimen to the needs of the individual patient.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                12 November 2020
                : 13
                : 2885-2894
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University , Cairo, Egypt
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Walaa Y Elsabeeny Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, National Cancer Institute , Kasr Al Eini Street, Fom El Khalig, Cairo11796, EgyptTel +20 1007798466 Email walaa.Elsabeeny@nci.cu.edu.eg
                © 2020 Elsabeeny et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 9, Tables: 6, References: 26, Pages: 10
                Original Research


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