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Breast. 2014 Aug;23(4):329-33. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2014.01.003. Epub 2014 Jan 23.

Lack of association between breast reconstructive surgery and the development of chronic pain after mastectomy: a propensity matched retrospective cohort analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, USA. Electronic address: g-jr@northwestern.edu.
2
Department of Anesthesiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, USA.
3
Department of Anesthesiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, USA.
4
Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To compare if mastectomy with reconstructive surgery had greater incidence of chronic pain compared to mastectomy surgery alone.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The study was a retrospective cohort. Patients who underwent mastectomies with and without reconstruction responded to the modified short form Brief Pain Inventory and the short form McGill pain questionnaire to identify and characterize pain at least 6 months after the surgical procedure. Propensity matching analysis was used to control for covariates differences in the study groups.

RESULTS:

310 subjects were included and 132 patients (43%) reported the presence of chronic pain. After propensity score matching to adjust for covariate imbalances, the incidence of chronic pain in the mastectomy group who had additional surgery for breast reconstruction was not different compared to the group who had mastectomy surgery alone, 26 out of 68 (38%) and 27 out of 68 (39%), respectively P = 1.0. Among patients who had chronic pain, breast reconstruction did not increase the intensity of worst pain in the last 24 h, median (IQR) of 2 (1-5) compared to 4 (1-5) in the no reconstruction group, P = 0.41. Type of reconstruction (breast implants vs. flap tissue) did not result in greater incidence and/or intensity of chronic pain.

CONCLUSIONS:

Breast reconstruction after mastectomy does not result in a greater incidence of chronic pain compared to mastectomy alone. Female patients undergoing breast cancer surgery should not incorporate chronic pain in their decision to undergo reconstructive surgery after mastectomy.

KEYWORDS:

Breast reconstructions chronic postsurgical pain

PMID:
24462729
DOI:
10.1016/j.breast.2014.01.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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