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Eur J Surg. 2001 Nov;167(11):825-30.

Efficacy of subcutaneous and topical local anaesthesia for pain relief after resection of malignant breast tumours.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.



Infiltration and topical application of local anaesthetics close to the surgical wound may be used to prevent postoperative pain. We evaluated the efficacy of these treatments after breast surgery for cancer.


Double-blind randomised trial with two treatment groups and one control group.


University hospital, Sweden.


Patients were allocated to treatment with bupivacaine infiltration (n = 29), topical application of lignocaine/prilocaine (n = 31), or no local treatment (n = 30).


Difference and time related patterns in pain scores measured on a visual analogue scale (VAS), and morphine consumption. RESULTS. None of the local anaesthetics significantly reduced the VAS score or morphine consumption. However, fewer patients in the anaesthetic groups had high VAS scores than controls, the 75 centile for the mean score after operation being 2.7, 2.0 and 2.1 for the controls, infiltration, and topical anaesthetic groups, respectively. The controls had higher scores from 6 hours postoperatively onwards. The corresponding median morphine consumption was 24.5, 18.5, and 16.2 mg. CONCLUSIONS. Local anaesthesia slightly reduced the overall pain scores and the morphine consumption, but was of potential clinical value only in the patients who had the highest pain scores.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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