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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2003 Apr;29(3):213-5.

Long term results of a randomised prospective study of preservation of the intercostobrachial nerve.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University Hospitals of South Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Abstract

AIM:

We have previously reported in a randomised controlled trial comparing intercostobrachial nerve (ICBN) preservation with division that no difference in symptoms was seen between the groups at 3 months follow-up although a reduced area of sensory loss was measured on the arm. To determine if longer follow-up provides evidence for ICBN preservation, follow-up of patients in the trial at 3 years (range 32-38 months) postoperatively was performed.

METHODS:

Sensory symptoms and deficits, pain, shoulder movements, arm circumference and the presence of neuromas were documented in 73 patients from the original group of 120.

RESULTS:

No difference in survival or axillary recurrence was observed. The only symptom which differed between the two groups was a subjective assessment of 'different sensation' (P=0.006). No significant difference was observed in other sensory symptoms, pain, shoulder movement, arm circumference or presence of neuromas. A larger area of sensory deficit was measured in women with sacrificed nerves compared to preserved (P=0.009).

CONCLUSION:

Preservation of the intercostobrachial nerve does not affect patient survival. It improves patient sensory deficit significantly and modestly improves long-term symptoms.

PMID:
12657228
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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