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Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Oct;20(10):3330-4. doi: 10.1245/s10434-013-3156-6. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Incidence and predictors of neuropathic pain following breast surgery.

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Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA.



Neuropathic pain (NPP) following breast surgery extends morbidity in the postoperative period. The incidence and etiology of postoperative NPP remains unclear and under-reported in literature. This study aims to define the incidence of neuropathic pain following breast surgery and to identify patient characteristics that are predictors for developing postoperative NPP.


Consecutive female patients undergoing breast resection surgery over a 5-year period (2008-2012) with 1-year minimum follow-up were included in this single-center study. Retrospective chart review was performed to identify patient specific characteristics including the development of post-operative NPP. Data was analyzed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression.


A total of 470 patients were identified for study inclusion. The incidence of postoperative NPP was 14.7 % (69 of 470). Significant predictors for the development of postoperative NPP in the univariate analyses included history of diabetes mellitus, diabetic neuropathy, or fibromyalgia, concomitant axillary surgery, axillary node dissection, and taxane-based chemotherapy regimen. Multivariate analysis identified African American race [odds ratio (OR) = 1.78; 95 % CI = 1.01-3.17; p = 0.05), history of diabetes mellitus (OR = 1.98; 95 % CI = 1.0-3.74; p = 0.01) or fibromyalgia (OR = 2.75; 95 % CI = 1.13-6.69; p = 0.03), and taxane-based chemotherapy regimen (OR = 2.85; 95 % CI = 1.23-6.58; p = 0.01) as being independently associated with the development of postoperative NPP.


NPP is a significant risk following breast surgery. African American race, history of either diabetes mellitus or fibromyalgia, and treatment with taxane-based chemotherapy regimens are all associated with an increased risk of NPP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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