Conference Coverage

Post-mastectomy pain strategy allows for safe, same-day discharge



– A multimodal pain regimen allowed for safe and effective same-day discharge of women undergoing mastectomy procedures, a recent study showed.

Women had little need for stronger oral narcotic use in the single center, retrospective study presented at the annual clinical congress of the American College of Surgeons.

The analysis included 72 consecutive mastectomies performed at a single center from November 2015 to July 2017. Most mastectomies were bilateral (61, or 84.7%) while 11 (15.3%) were unilateral.

Patients received a standardized pain regimen including 1 gram of IV acetaminophen interoperatively, combined with 30 mg of IV ketorolac and a 4-level intercostal nerve block with liposomal bupivacaine.

Liposomal bupivacaine has a longer half-life than other anesthetics, according to lead study author Radbeh Torabi, MD, a fifth-year plastic surgery resident at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Science Center in New Orleans.

“That allows for prolonged pain control, especially during the time when the patient’s going to have the most amount of pain, which is the first day to two days postoperatively,” Dr. Torabi said in an interview.

All 72 patients were discharged home on the same day with just a 1-week prescription for acetaminophen with codeine.

Only 5 patients presented to the emergency room in the 30-day postoperative period, and of those, only 2 (2.8%) required readmission for reasons other than mastectomy-related pain, investigators said. The remaining 3 patients did present with pain, but did not require hospital admission.

Taken together, these findings suggest that this multimodal strategy offers excellent pain control and has the potential to minimize inpatient admissions while decreasing oral narcotic use, investigators said in an interview following their presentation.

“The main takeaway is reducing the amount of prescriptions we give,” Dr. Torabi said.

Study co-author Cameron T. Ward Coker, MD, a fourth-year general surgery resident at LSU, said the multimodal pain strategy used in this study could represent a step toward eliminating the risks associated with opioid prescribing.

“From the feedback we got from our lecture and the other surgeons in the room, it seems like that’s already becoming a widespread phenomenon,” Dr. Coker said.

Patients in the study had an average age of about 57 years and an average BMI of 30, according to the investigators.

Dr. Coker and Dr. Torabi had no disclosures related to the presentation.

SOURCE: Torabi R, et al. Scientific forum abstract at American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress. 2018 Oct 23.

Recommended Reading

Better ICU staff communication with family may improve end-of-life choices
The Hospitalist
Nearly one-quarter of presurgery patients already using opioids
The Hospitalist
How to prescribe effectively for opioid use disorder
The Hospitalist
Opioid use has not declined meaningfully
The Hospitalist
More than half of urine drug screens showed improper medication use
The Hospitalist
FDA issues new REMS for immediate-release opioids
The Hospitalist
Confirmed: Growth in overdose deaths is exponential
The Hospitalist
Signs point to growing abuse of gabapentinoids in the U.S.
The Hospitalist
Low-dose ketamine controls pain from severe chest injury, while sparing opioid consumption
The Hospitalist
Short-term NSAIDs appear safe for high-risk patients
The Hospitalist
   Comments ()