Author(s): Legeby M, Sandelin K, Wickman M, Olofsson C
Breast cancer treatment with mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) is associated with intense pain in the primary post-operative period. The present prospective, placebo-controlled and double-blind study aimed to evaluate the analgesic efficacy of diclofenac, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), in combination with paracetamol and opioids. This was done by 64-h assessment of post-operative pain intensity, opioid consumption, blood loss, nausea and tiredness.
Fifty women selected for mastectomy and IBR with submuscular implants with or without axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) were randomized to receive diclofenac 50 mg x 3 or placebo rectally in addition to oral paracetamol and intravenous opioids delivered using a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) technique.
During the first 20 h post-surgery, patients who received diclofenac experienced significantly less pain when resting than those who received placebo. When moving, a non-significant estimated difference in pain in favour of diclofenac was also noted. Opioid consumption during the first 6 h post-operatively was 34\% less with diclofenac than with placebo. Means (SD) were 16.9 (10.3) mg and 25.6 (10.2) mg, respectively (P = 0.007). After 64 h, the difference was no longer statistically significant. Post-operative bleeding was significantly higher with diclofenac than with placebo (P < 0.01). Nausea and tiredness did not differ between the groups.
The addition of NSAID to paracetamol and opioid-PCA reduced opioid consumption and improved pain relief during the first 20 h at rest but was not convincingly effective during mobilization. Post-operative blood loss was higher with diclofenac.Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research