Most breast cancer operations in the United States are performed with the patient given general anesthesia. We retrospectively reviewed our prospective breast cancer database to determine the percentage of patients who underwent breast cancer operations with either local or paravertebral block regional anesthesia from January 1 through June 30, 2008. Fifty-two of 70 patients (74%) were able to undergo breast cancer surgery with local or paravertebral block regional anesthesia. Operations included mastectomy, full axillary dissections, and expander or implant reconstruction. There were no conversions to general anesthesia and no unplanned overnight admissions. Only 5 of 52 patients (10%) undergoing surgery with local or paravertebral block regional anesthesia developed postoperative nausea or vomiting. We conclude that most elective outpatient breast cancer surgery operations can be performed with the patients given local or regional anesthesia.
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