Efficacy of Thoracic Paravertebral Block in the Reduction of Acute Post-surgical Pain in Patients With Breast Cancer


Instituto de Cancerología S.A.

Status and phase

Phase 3


Breast Cancer


Procedure: Surgical Wound Infiltration
Procedure: Thoracic Paravertebral Block

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Surgical treatment of breast cancer is frequently associated with postoperative pain in the surgical area. Persistent pain after breast cancer management has considerable negative effects on the quality of life of survivors. The aim of this trials is to evaluate the efficacy of thoracic paravertebral block with bupivacine 0.5% in reducing the acute pain postmastectomy compare with surgical wound infiltration with bupivacaine 0.5%.

Full description

Surgical treatment of breast cancer is frequently associated with postoperative pain in the surgical area, restricted movement of the ipsilateral upper limb and increased risk of chronic pain. This usually occurs even though management with analgesics commonly used in the postoperative period. Properly treatment of acute postoperative pain have essential implications: improving the general welfare of patients, can better withstand future medical interventions, facilitating recovery in the short and long term and is believed to have positive impact on survival from cancer. Persistent pain after breast cancer management has considerable negative effects on the quality of life of survivors. Several risks factors have been described in preoperative, intra-operative and postoperative periods of persistent or chronic pain. In the postoperative period the most important risk factor is the severity of acute pain. For this, pain relief is an essential component of care of patients undergoing breast cancer surgery. Current evidence suggests that treatment of acute postoperative pain reduces the risk of persistent or chronic pain syndrome. The surgical wound infiltration with local anesthesia has been used routinely in patients managed at the Cancer Institute and Clinica Las Americas and is described as a safe and accessible procedure for the management of acute postoperative pain. Paravertebral block represents an interesting alternative in the management of perioperative pain, often used for breast surgery, hernia repair and thoracotomy in children and adults. Although complications associated with blocking are uncommon, the implementation of Ultrasound-guided approach has become the standard for performing said method. Such considerations have led us to evaluate whether patients with breast cancer who are undergoing mastectomy, thoracic paravertebral block could be better in relief acute pain in comparison with surgical wound infiltration with local anesthesia. This will be studied by controlled randomized to one of two intervention groups (paravertebral block or local anesthesia with infiltration of the surgical wound) allocation trial. In all patients, general anesthesia and routine postoperative analgesic is used.


60 patients




18 to 70 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  1. Women older than 18 years.
  2. Diagnosis of breast cancer requiring major elective surgery: unilateral mastectomy with or without axillary dissection; with or without axillary sentinel node biopsy; with or without immediate breast reconstruction.
  3. Willingness to participate in the study during the follow-up period.

Exclusion criteria

  1. Metastatic breast carcinoma; tumor involvement of contra lateral breast or armpit determined by clinical or paraclinical studies.
  2. Medical History of coagulopathy.
  3. Consumption of anticoagulants.
  4. Contraindication to NSAIDs or opioids.
  5. Allergy to local anesthetics of amide type.
  6. Infection a interventions sites (paravertebral block or area affected breast surgical wound)
  7. Pregnancy and lactation.
  8. BMI>35.
  9. Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease or other diseases that affect the mental or motor sphere.
  10. Double mastectomy or mastectomy history of previous ipsilateral to the current episode.
  11. Preoperative risk classification ASA IV-V.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Single Blind

60 participants in 2 patient groups

Thoracic Paravertebral Block
Experimental group
to identify the thoracic T3, a parallel line 2.5 cm from the spinous process is drawn and in this place the ultrasound sensor is placed. Ultrasonograph image identifies the transverse process, the intercostal cost-transverse ligament, the pleura and lung. We proceed to insert a needle between the two corresponding transverse processes and positions after passing the cost-ligament posterior intercostal and transverse to the parietal pleura. After negative aspiration for blood, 0.5% bupivacaine anesthetic is administered at doses of 1.5 mg/kg slowly. The volume is defined by the anesthesiologist. The injection of anesthetic is displayed, as well as confirmation of the correct location of the needle because the volume injected above pushes the pleura.
Procedure: Thoracic Paravertebral Block
Surgical Wound Infiltration
Active Comparator group
before the close of the skin, it proceeds to infiltrate the subcutaneous tissue and skin with 0.5% bupivacaine at doses of 1.5 mg/kg, generating the widest possible dissemination of the bupivacaine in the surgical area.
Procedure: Surgical Wound Infiltration

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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