Evid Based Nurs 2:16 doi:10.1136/ebn.2.1.16
  • Treatment

Early discharge after surgery for breast cancer was safe and well received by patients

 Question Is early discharge after surgery for breast cancer associated with wound or drainage complications, changes in patient satisfaction, or psychosocial problems?


Randomised controlled trial.


A general hospital and cancer clinic at a university hospital in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


139 women with operable breast cancer (stage I or II) who were eligible for modified radical mastectomy or lumpectomy with axillary dissection. Exclusion criteria were radiotherapy or chemotherapy before surgery, or high risk of complications. Follow up was 90%.


Randomisation was done before admission. 69 women were allocated to early discharge (morning of day 4 after surgery). A discharge protocol, developed to guarantee continuity of care, included patient information, referral to a community health nurse, an emergency telephone number, and scheduled follow up visits. Drain removal was done in the outpatient clinic or at home. 70 women were allocated to long stay (usually 9–12 …

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