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

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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 …

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  • Source of funding: Ministry of Welfare, Health, and Sports, the Netherlands.

  • For correspondence: Dr J Bonnema, Department of Surgical Oncology, University Hospital Rotterdam/Daniel den Hoed Cancer Center, PO Box 5201, 3008 AE Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Fax +31 10 486 4645.