, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 760-764
Date: 12 Jul 2011

Multilevel nerve stimulator-guided paravertebral block as a sole anesthetic technique for breast cancer surgery in morbidly obese patients

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In this case series, we present the effectiveness of multilevel nerve stimulator-guided paravertebral block (PVB) technique in obese women of body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 undergoing breast cancer surgery with or without axillary dissection. Twenty-six obese women were included in this case series. Block classification, hemodynamics and complication rate, postoperative nausea and vomiting, postoperative analgesic consumption, post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) stay, and hospital stay were recorded. All patients were hemodynamically stable during the operation, and no complications were noted. Patients stayed 69 min on average in the PACU and were discharged within 2 days. Confirmation of the landmark was established from the initial attempt in 61.5%. Surgical PVB was achieved in 76.9% of the patients; the failure rate of the technique was 11.5%. This case series suggested that the multilevel nerve stimulator-guided PVB may be an effective technique for obese patients undergoing breast cancer surgery, although further studies are needed to compare PVB and general anesthesia.

The work should be attributed to the Anesthesia Department, Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon.