Post-mastectomy and post-breast conservation surgery pain syndrome: a review of etiologies, risk prediction, and trends in management

Victor E. Chen, Benjamin A. Greenberger, Zheng Shi, Shefali Gajjar, Wenyin Shi, Waleed F. Mourad, Weisi Yan


Postmastectomy pain syndrome (PMPS) or breast conservation surgery (BCS) pain syndrome could be long-term and lead to disability and impairment on body and social function. The pain syndromes are not uncommon in breast cancer patients. It can affect social, psychological, physical and behavioral aspects of a patient. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and psychological factors can all contribute to the development of pain syndromes. Axillary dissection is a strong predictor for pain development. Pain medications, ganglion blocks are typically given to the patient for management. Integrative medicine such as acupuncture and psychological management methods are promising modalities in the management arsenal. In this study, we summarized the up-to-date literature to elucidate the etiology, risk factors and management strategies for PMPS.