Chronic adverse effects after an axillary lymphadenectomy in breast cancer patients after administering weaker and stronger postoperative analgesia: results of a prospective double-blind randomized study.Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2020 Aug; 182(3):655-663.BC
The aim of this study was to compare the rate of chronic adverse effects after a weaker and stronger postoperative analgesia.
A prospective double-blind randomized study included 117 breast cancer patients receiving tramadol for pain relief for 4 weeks after an axillary lymphadenectomy from 2015 to 2018. Patients with a larger dose received 75/650 mg of tramadol with paracetamol every 8 h and a group with a lower dose received 37.5/325 mg of tramadol with paracetamol every 8 h from the 2nd to the 29th postoperative day. 1 year after surgery, patients were evaluated for the presence of neuropathic pain, chronic pain, arm symptoms and lymphedema.
There was a trend for a lower rate of neuropathic pain after stronger analgesia in comparison to weaker analgesia (p = 0.059). Chronic pain was present in 18% of patients 1 year after the lymphadenectomy. There was no difference in the rate of chronic pain after stronger and weaker postoperative analgesia. Patients had less arm symptoms after a stronger analgesia than after a weaker analgesia (p = 0.02). Furthermore, there was a trend for a lower rate of lymphedema of the forearm after a stronger analgesia than after a lower analgesia (p = 0.078).
The patients who received a stronger postoperative analgesia had less arm symptoms and a better quality of life in comparison to patients who received a weaker analgesia. The patients who received a stronger postoperative analgesia had a statistical trend for less neuropathic pain in comparison to patients who received a weaker analgesia.