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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094On-line version ISSN 1806-907X


BELZARENA, Sérgio D.. Comparative study between thoracic epidural block and general anesthesia for oncologic mastectomy. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2008, vol.58, n.6, pp.561-568. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Thoracic epidural block is frequently used for esthetic breast surgeries but reports of its use in mastectomies with axillary exploration are very rare. The present study compared this technique with general anesthesia in oncologic surgeries of the breasts. METHODS: Forty patients were divided in two groups. The epidural group (n = 20) underwent epidural thoracic block with bupivacaine and fentanyl associated with sedation with midazolam. The other group (n = 20) underwent conventional general anesthesia with propofol, atracurium, and fentanyl, and maintenance with O2 and isoflurane. Duration of the surgery, the need for intraoperative complementation of anesthesia or sedation, and intraoperative hemodynamic parameters were recorded. In the postoperative period, length of time until discharge from the recovery room and from the hospital, severity of pain, analgesic consumption, adverse effects, and satisfaction with the anesthetic techniques were recorded. RESULTS: Both groups were similar and differences in the duration of the surgery were not observed. Complementary sedation was necessary in 100% of the patients who underwent epidural block and complementary sedation with infiltration of local anesthetic in the axilla in 15% of the patients in this group. The rate of hypertension was more frequent in the group of patients who underwent general anesthesia, while hypotension was more frequent in the epidural group. Pruritus was observed in 55% of the patients in the epidural group. Nausea (30%) and vomiting (45%) were more frequent in the general anesthesia group. The quality of postoperative analgesia was better in the epidural group, which also presented lower consumption of analgesics; the length hospitalization in this group was also lower. CONCLUSIONS: Epidural block has some advantages when compared with general anesthesia and can be considered an anesthesia option in oncologic mastectomies with axillary lymph node dissection.

Keywords : ANESTHESIA [Regional]; ANESTHESIA [epidural]; SURGERY [Oncologic]; SURGERY [mastectom].

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