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Day-case breast cancer axillary surgery

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicholas Athey, Professor David Leaper


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Introduction: The standard locoregional management of breast cancer is excision of the primary tumour and axillary staging with suction drainage of the axilla. The objective of this study was to determine the safety, tolerability and efficacy of day-case surgery without suction drainage. Patients and Methods: A review of complete, prospectively collected data was performed on all breast cancer patients (screening and symptomatic) planned to undergo day-case axillary surgery at a University Teaching Hospital between 2000 and 2002. Postoperative complications were recorded and the notes of patients not discharged on the day of their surgery were also examined to establish the reason for overnight stay. Results: 165 patients underwent intended day-case axillary surgery (axillary dissection level 1/2; median age, 55 years; range, 39-76 years). Of these, 16 (9.7%) were admitted overnight usually due to over-running of theatre lists (n = 13; 81%). 29 patients (17.6%) underwent axillary dissection alone, the remainder had axillary surgery combined with wide local excision (median number of lymph nodes excised 11; range, 2-18). Complications included symptomatic seroma formation in 37 patients (22%) and wound infection in 16 patients (10%). Conclusions: Day-case axillary surgery can be performed safely with surgical morbidity comparing favourably to published work of 'traditional' axillary drainage following lymphadenectomy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Athey N, Gilliam AD, Sinha P, Kurup VJ, Hennessey C, Leaper DJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England

Year: 2005

Volume: 87

Issue: 2

Pages: 96-98

ISSN (print): 0035-8843

ISSN (electronic): 1478-7083

Publisher: The Royal College of Surgeons of England


DOI: 10.1308/1478708051667


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