Early and late morbidity associated with axillary levels I–III dissection in breast cancer
Article first published online: 21 FEB 2002
Copyright © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Surgical Oncology
Volume 79, Issue 3, pages 151–155, March 2002
How to Cite
Ernst, M. F., Voogd, A. C., Balder, W., Klinkenbijl, J. H. G. and Roukema, J. A. (2002), Early and late morbidity associated with axillary levels I–III dissection in breast cancer. J. Surg. Oncol., 79: 151–155. doi: 10.1002/jso.10061
- Issue published online: 21 FEB 2002
- Article first published online: 21 FEB 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 NOV 2001
- lymph node;
Background and Objectives
Axillary dissection may cause substatial morbidity in breast cancer patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate the value of a registration method of morbidity of the arm and shoulder, which is frequently used by surgeons and which includes the measurement of range of movement, strength, and pain.
We surveyed 148 patients who had received an axillary dissection as part of breast cancer surgery. Of these patients, 77 had undergone axillary dissection 6–12 months ago and 71 patients more than 5 years ago. In all patients, an objective measurement of shoulder movement and a subjective measurement of pain and arm strength was performed.
A difference of more than 20 degrees in abduction, ventral elevation, or dorsal elevation occurred in 12% of the patients. Pain or loss of strength were measured in half of the patients. Shoulder movement, pain, and arm strength were not significantly different between the patients who underwent mastectomy or breast conserving surgery. Also, no significant difference could be found in shoulder movement, pain, and arm strength between the patients who underwent axillary dissection 6–12 months ago and those who underwent it more than 5 years ago.
Pain, loss of arm strength, and limitation of shoulder movement are frequent complaints after axillary dissection for breast cancer and appear to be independent of the length of follow-up and the type of surgery (i.e., breast-conservation or mastectomy). J. Surg. Oncol. 2002;79:151–155. © 2002 Wiley–Liss, Inc.