Anesthetic technique improves quality of recovery for women having breast cancer surgery

Anesthesiologists using a technique similar to a dental freeze can improve the quality of recovery and decrease recovery time for breast cancer surgery patients, according to a new study.The study, from researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and Women’s College Hospital, was published in the March edition of Anesthesiology. It is the world’s first randomized control trial for breast cancer surgery that compares the use of ultrasound-guided paravertebral blocks – a local anesthetic freezing that blocks breast nerves – to general anesthetic. The findings reveal that breast cancer patients who received local anesthetic had superior pain relief, spent less time in recovery rooms after surgery, and were discharged an hour earlier than patients who were put under general anesthesia.”Real time, image-guided ultrasound nerve blocks have revolutionized the practice of regional anesthesia,” said Dr. Faraj Abdallah, an anesthesiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital and lead author of the study. “This is the first study to show how effective these ultrasound-guided blocks can now be for breast cancer surgery. Even more importantly, we’ve been able to demonstrate that blocks help patients feel better and return to their normal levels of mental and physical functionality sooner after surgery.”Dr. Abdallah conducted this randomized controlled trial of 64 women at Women’s College Hospital, the first Canadian site to complete a study where this image-guided technique was used in breast cancer surgery. Because of its demonstrated benefits and the addition of Dr. …

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