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Improving Breast Surgery Outcomes Through Alternative Therapy: A Systematic Review

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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment


Cureus. 2022 Mar 24;14(3):e23443.
doi: 10.7759/cureus.23443. eCollection 2022 Mar.

Authors:

Yasmine Abushukur, Camilla Cascardo, Yousef Ibrahim, Fayven Teklehaimanot, Rebecca Knackstedt

Abstract.

Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols are the current standard of care when it comes to improving post-surgical outcomes in breast cancer patients. Compliance with all protocol items is required in order for patients to experience significant benefits. Given that the ERAS protocols involve numerous medications which each have unique side effect profiles and medication interactions, this is often difficult to accomplish. Additionally, breast cancer patients are often left with a large psychological burden, which ERAS protocols fail to address. This review aims to determine the role that alternative therapies can play in improving both the emotional and physical strains patients experience during the post-operative stage of recovery. A PubMed search was conducted using the following search terms ("alternative medicine" or "complementary medicine" or "integrative medicine" or "holistic medicine" or "natural medicine" or "mediation" or "aromatherapy" or "music" or "art" or "reiki" or "massage") and ("surgery") and ("pain"). Studies selected for this review include articles published or translated in English that addressed alternative medical interventions affecting pre-, peri-, or post-operative outcomes in breast biopsies, surgeries, or breast-related procedures. Eighteen articles fit the inclusion criteria, with seven addressing music, five addressing meditation, yoga, and guided imagery, five addressing massage, one addressing myofascial release, four addressing aromatherapy, two addressing acupuncture, and three addressing hypnosis. Most forms of alternative therapies offered some benefit to patients following breast-related procedures, many resulting in improvements in post-operative outcomes including pain, fatigue, energy, stress, anxiety, mood, and depression. The reviewed studies demonstrated numerous benefits to integrating alternative medicine into standardized therapy to improve postoperative outcomes. Most studies analyzed did not include placebo controls as including proper placebos was often not feasible. Future studies with larger sample sizes are needed to better quantify the benefits patients receive from these noninvasive, low-risk complementary therapies.

Publication Date: 

2022 Mar

OEID: 

3731

Abushukur, Y., Cascardo, C., Ibrahim, Y., Teklehaimanot, F., Knackstedt, R. (2022) 'Improving Breast Surgery Outcomes Through Alternative Therapy: A Systematic Review ', Cureus. 2022 Mar 24;14(3):e23443. doi: 10.7759/cureus.23443. eCollection 2022 Mar.

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