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Scand J Pain. 2010 Apr 1;1(2):75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.sjpain.2010.01.010.

Hyperesthesia one year after breast augmentation surgery increases the odds for persisting pain at four years A prospective four-year follow-up study.

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University of Oslo, Department Group of Clinical Medicine, Department of Anaesthesiology, Rikshospitalet, Oslo University Hospital, N-0027 Oslo, Norway.


In this long-term follow-up study of 175 women, we investigated the prevalence of and factors associated with persisting pain and sensory changes four years after augmentation mammoplasty. Previously the women had participated in an acute postoperative pain study, and follow-up investigations at 6 weeks and 1 year after surgery. In the present study, the women were mailed questionnaires about pain, sensory changes, and affection of daily life, quality of life and pain catastrophizing 4 years after surgery. One hundred and sixteen women answered the questionnaire. The fraction of women reporting evoked- and/or spontaneous pain during the last 24 h had declined from 20% at 1 year to 14% at 4 years. Hyperesthesia had declined from 46% at 1 year to 32% at 4 years, while the change in hypoesthesia was small, 47% at 1 year to 51% at 4 years. Methylprednisolone and parecoxib given pre incisionally reduced acute postoperative pain and reduced the prevalence of hyperesthesia after 6 weeks/1 year, but after 4 years we found no significant differences between the test drug groups. Those having concomitant pain and hyperesthesia at 6 weeks and 1 year had high odds for persisting pain at 4 years (OR 7.8, 95% CI 2.1-29.8, P = 0.003; OR 13.2, 95% CI 2.5-71.3, P = 0.003). In patients without pain but with hyperesthesia at 1 year, the hyperesthesia increased the odds for pain at 4 years (OR 2.6 95% CI 1.1-6.1, P = 0.03). Hypoesthesia at 6 weeks or at 1 year did not affect the odds for pain at 4 years. A good general health condition (mental and physical) was associated with reduced odds for pain at 4 years (OR = 0.56, 95% CI 0.35-0.88, P = 0.01). However, using the Short Form health survey, SF-12, the Mental Component Summary Score seemed to affect the odds for chronic pain more than the Physical Component Summary Score. To conclude, the prevalence of pain and hyperesthesia after breast augmentation declined from 1 to 4 years. Nevertheless, the most striking finding in the current trial was that pain coinciding with hyperesthesia at 6 weeks and 1 year resulted in highly increased odds for persistent postoperative pain. Even hyperesthesia alone, without pain, increased the odds for chronic postsurgical pain. Thus, the present study suggests hyperesthesia as an independent risk factor for chronic postsurgical pain.


Augmentation mammoplasty; Breast surgery; COX-2 inhibitor; Cosmetic surgery; Glucocorticoid; Hyperesthesia; Hypoesthesia; Odds ratio; Persistent postoperative pain; Risk factors; Sensory changes

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