Prospective randomized trial of paravertebral block for patients undergoing breast cancer surgery

Judy C. Boughey, Farzin Goravanchi, Ronald N. Parris, Spencer S. Kee, Alicia M. Kowalski, John C. Frenzel, Isabelle Bedrosian, Funda Meric-Bernstam, Kelly K. Hunt, Frederick C. Ames, Henry M. Kuerer, Anthony Lucci

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background: The goal of the current study was to evaluate the effect of regional anesthesia using paravertebral block (PVB) on postoperative pain after breast surgery. Methods: Patients undergoing unilateral breast surgery without reconstruction were randomized to general anesthesia (GA) only or PVB with GA and pain scores assessed. Results: Eighty patients were randomized (41 to GA and 39 to PVB with GA). Operative times were not significantly different between groups. Pain scores were lower after PVB compared to GA at 1 hour (1 vs 3, P = .006) and 3 hours (0 vs 2, P = .001) but not at later time points. The overall worst pain experienced was lower with PVB (3 vs 5, P = .02). More patients were pain-free in the PVB group at 1 hour (44% vs 17%, P = .014) and 3 hours (54% vs 17%, P = .005) postoperatively. Conclusions: PVB significantly decreases postoperative pain up to 3 hours after breast cancer surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-725
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Breast surgery
  • Length of stay
  • Pain control
  • Paravertebral block
  • Postoperative pain
  • Regional anesthesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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