“Intercostobrachial Nerve Sparing to Reduce Post-Surgical Pain”
Sacrifice of the intercostobrachial nerve (ICBN) during surgery is associated with development of persistent post-surgical pain (PPSP), which affects up to 60% of breast cancer surgery patients. A large, definitive trial is needed to establish whether nerve preservation techniques are effective in reducing post-surgical pain after breast cancer surgery. If the effect of ICBN preservation is consistent with observational studies, the absolute reduction of rates of persistent pain would be considerable.The primary objective is to determine the effect of ICBN preservation, versus usual care, on the prevalence and intensity of PPSP at one year after breast cancer surgery involving axillary lymph node dissection (ALND).
ICBN preservation surgery
For participants randomized to the ICBN preserving technique, surgeons will perform axillary dissection in which the second ICBN, just inferior to the axillary vein, will be preserved. Surgeons will be asked to indicate whether the ICBN nerve was fully preserved, partially preserved, or sacrificed. All study participants will receive anesthetic management at the discretion of the attending physician, which will be documented.
Intercostobrachial Nerve Sparing in Breast Cancer Surgery to Reduce Persistent Post-surgical Pain - an International Randomized Controlled Trial