Document Type



Anaesthesia; General Surgery


Objective: To determine the frequency of persistent pain in patients after breast cancer surgery, and to assess the distribution and characteristics of pain in such patients.
Methods: The prospective observational single cohort study was conducted at the Department of Anaesthesiology and in the Breast Clinic of the Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, from August 2016 to January 2017, and comprised adult female patients with biopsy-proven carcinoma of breast who were scheduled for elective definitive breast cancer surgery. The patients were followed up for up to three months post-surgery and those with persistent pain were followed up for six months post-operation. Data was analysed using SPSS 19.
Results: Of the 120 patients, 26(21.7%) developed persistent post-surgical pain for up to three months, while in 17(14.2%) patients, the pain continued for up to six months after the operation. Among those with persistent post-surgical pain, 11(42.3%) had burning pain, 10(38.5%) had throbbing pain, 3(11.5%) had numbness and 2(7.7%)had mixed character of pain. Also, 11(42.3%)patients developed pain at more than one site including axilla, chest wall, upper arm and surgical scar area, and the site of pain in majority patients 15(57.7%) was axilla.
Conclusion: The incidence of persistent pain following breast cancer surgery was found to be 21.7%.

Publication (Name of Journal)

JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association