Li, N.L., Yu, B.L., Tseng, S.C., Hsu, C.C., Lai, W.J., Hsieh, P.F., . . . Chen, C.M. (2011). The effect on improvement of recovery and pain scores of paravertebral block immediately before breast surgery. Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica: Official Journal of the Taiwan Society of Anesthesiologists, 49(3), 91–95.doi: 10.1016/j.aat.2011.08.006
To investigate whether paravertebral block (PVB) implemented immediately before breast cancer surgery can affect pain and emesis and improve the quality of life of patients after breast cancer surgery
Consecutive patients received general anesthesia or PVB plus anesthesia before breast cancer surgery. Researchers compared the pain scores of both groups of patients at one hour and at six hours postoperatively and at midmorning of postoperative day 1 (POD1). At one hour, patients were observed in the postanesthesia care unit for one hour, where they were provided with analgesics to achieve a pain score of less than 4 on the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS). Choices of analgesic for patients with moderate to severe pain included intravenous morphine, 3–6 mg, and intravenous ketorolac, 30 mg. Patients with mild to moderate pain (a score of 4–7) received acetaminophen, 500–1000 mg, at the patient’s request. At six hours after surgery and on POD1, pain scores were recorded with patients at rest and during movement. Movement consisted of moving the arm until the arm and body were at a 90-degree angle. The amount of postoperative narcotics and the time to first request for pain medication was recorded.
After breast cancer surgery, PVB plus GA may provide better pain relief than does GA alone. The researchers observed higher QoR scores and less antiemetic use in the GA + PVB than in the GA group.
PVB may be a useful tool to decrease pain after breast cancer surgery and to reduce PONV, but more research is needed before researchers can draw definitive conclusions.