A trial looking at pain control after breast cancer surgery

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Breast cancer





This trial is looking at another way to control pain after surgery for breast cancer.

You are most likely to have painkillers after surgery for breast cancer. These work quite well but can cause side effects, for example feeling sick and feeling sleepy. So doctors are always looking for ways to improve pain control after surgery, especially during the first few days after the operation.  

The researchers think thin tubes, called wound catheters, could help by delivering a drug that stops feeling (anaesthetic) Open a glossary item straight to where you had surgery. The surgeon puts the tubes in place during your operation. The tubes are attached to a pump that delivers a certain amount of anaesthetic at regular times.    

This type of pain control has worked well following other types of surgery including breast reconstruction. It has helped with recovery and reduced the need for painkillers.  

The aims of this trial are to find out

  • How well wound catheters will work following breast cancer surgery
  • How well this type of pain control reduces the need for painkillers

Who can enter

You may be able to enter this trial if you attend the Wansbeck General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne and you are having surgery to remove your whole breast (mastectomy) with or without breast reconstruction.

You cannot enter this trial if you are

Trial design

This trial will recruit 80 women who attend the Wansbeck General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.

This is a randomised trial. You will be randomly put into 1 of 2 groups. Neither you nor your doctor can choose which group you are in. Half the women have the wound catheters and painkilling drugs to control their pain after surgery. The other women have painkilling drugs only, as is currently done routinely.   

On each of the first 2 days after your surgery, you fill in a questionnaire 5 times. It asks you about any pain you might have. It should take no longer than 10 minutes to fill in each time.  

The nurse will remove the wound catheters before you go home.

Hospital visits

There are no extra visits to the hospital if you agree to take part in this trial.

Side effects

We know from research that wound catheters are safe to use and don’t cause any increased risk of complications after surgery.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Mark Piper
Guru Raghavendra

Supported by

Breast Cancer Research Trust
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 9535

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Deborah wanted to help other breast cancer patients in the future

A picture of Deborah

“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

No votes yet
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page