Editorials

Early discharge after surgery for breast cancer

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7168.1264 (Published 07 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1264

Might not be applicable to most patients

Papers p 1275

With throughput and cost containment uppermost in purchasers' minds, any evidence that the length of hospital stays after surgery can be reduced without increasing physical or psychological morbidity must be music to their ears. The report by Bundred et al (p 1275)1 complements that originally published by Boman et al from Sweden2 and Bonnema et al from the Netherlands3 suggesting that early discharge after surgery for breast cancer is both safe and beneficial. However, before early discharge policies for women with breast cancer are widely implemented, several issues need further comment and a more thorough assessment.

Boman et al looked at physical outcomes and satisfaction in women who opted for either early discharge with a drain in situ two days postoperatively or routine discharge after drain removal. Both Bonnema and Bundred report data from randomised …

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