A review of the literature and discussion: establishing a consensus for the definition of post-mastectomy pain syndrome to provide a standardized clinical and research approach

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Abstract

Summary

Chronic pain presents a management challenge for physicians and patients alike, and post-mastectomy pain is no exception. In this issue, Waltho and Rockwell present a review of post-mastectomy pain syndrome (PMPS) and propose a standard definition that should allow future studies to be comparable. The proposed definition of “post–breast surgery pain syndrome” includes pain after any type of breast surgery that is of at least moderate intensity and comprises neuropathic qualities, that is present in the ipsilateral breast/chest/arm, that lasts longer than 6 months and is present at least half the time. Further work is needed to clarify whether this pain syndrome is in fact driven by neuralgia resulting from the axillary dissection component of breast cancer surgery.

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