Single shot ultrasound-guided thoracic paravertebral block for opioid-free radical mastectomy: A prospective observational study

Domenico P. Santonastaso, Annabella de Chiara, Emanuele Russo, Giovanni Musetti, Leonardo Lucchi, Andrea Sibilio, Roberta Maltoni, Emiliano Gamberini, Maurizio Fusari, Vanni Agnoletti Fusari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: General anesthesia (GA) is the most commonly used anesthesiological technique for radical mastectomy operations and can be associated with loco-regional anesthesia techniques. The aim of our study, carried out on 51 patients, was to assess the effectiveness of thoracic paravertebral block (TPVB) associated with GA, or as a sole anesthesiological technique for postoperative pain control and for the reduction of intra and postoperative opioids consumption. Materials and methods: Fifty-one patients with neoplastic breast disease and elected as candidates for radical mastectomy were included in the study. The primary outcomes for this study were intra and postoperative opioid consumption and postoperative pain intensity. In 37 patients, TPVB was associated with GA while in 14 patients it was used as the sole anesthesiological technique. Data are reported as mean with standard deviation median with interquartile range, number, and percentage, depending on the underlying distribution. Results: We did not use intra or postoperative opioids for any patient and the Numeric Rate Scale, assessed at time 0, at the end of the surgery, and 2, 6, 12, and 24 hrs after surgery, was >3 in seven patients only. Conclusions: This study aims to show how TPVB can be used to carry out radical mastectomy procedures so that intra and postoperative opioids use can be avoided. In our study, TPVB was used in total mastectomy procedures in association with GA or as the sole anesthesiological technique, without the intra and postoperative use of opioids and with a significant reduction of local anesthetic dosages compared to those reported in the existing literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2701-2708
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pain Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Awake breast surgery
  • Mastectomy
  • Opioids free anesthesia
  • Thoracic paravertebral block

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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