BACKGROUND: Surgical stress and anesthesia affect the patient's immune system. Analysis of the lymphocyte response after breast-conserving surgery was conducted to investigate the differences between effects after general and local anesthesia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-six patients with breast cancer were enrolled for BCS through local or general anesthesia. Total leukocytes, total lymphocytes, lymphocyte-subsets including CD3+, CD19+, CD4+, CD8+, CD16+CD56+ and CD4+/CD8+ ratio was examined at baseline and on postoperative days 1, 2 and 3.
RESULTS: Baseline data showed no statistical difference between the two groups. Within-group ANOVA test showed significant differences for total leukocyte count (p<0.001), total lymphocyte count (p=0.009) and proportion of natural-killer cells (p=0.01) in the control group. Between-group analysis showed lower median values of total lymphocytes in the awake surgery group on postoperative days 1, 2 and 3 (p=0.001, p=0.02 and p=0.01, respectively) when compared to the control group. Patients who underwent surgery under general anesthesia had higher total lymphocyte counts on postoperative day 2 (p=0.04).
CONCLUSION: In this randomized study, breast-conserving surgery plus local anesthesia had a lower impact on postoperative lymphocyte response when compared to the same procedure performed under general anesthesia.