Dr. Abdallah’s first research interest is aimed at evolving anesthetic techniques to optimize the short- and long-term outcomes following breast cancer surgery. The focus of his research is the use of regional anesthesia technique, namely paravertebral blocks, in improving acute post-surgical pain and preventing the transition from acute to chronic pain in women undergoing mastectomy. To date, he has described a novel technique to perform PVB that provides anesthesia and pain relief to the breast. He has also developed a teaching phantom model to train anesthesiologists on paravertebral blocks. Subsequently, Dr. Abdallah led two RCTs: the first demonstrated that paravertebral block improves acute post-surgical pain and enhances the quality of recovery after mastectomy; while the second validated a chronic pain identification tool in the post-mastectomy population and demonstrated that paravertebral blocks protect against chronic pain at 6 months after mastectomy.
Dr. Abdallah’s second research interest is aimed at prolonging the duration of analgesia of single-shot nerve blocks in patients undergoing ambulatory surgery. His team has recently demonstrated that the recession of single-shot nerve blocks is associated with a rebound pain phenomenon whereby patients who receive blocks may experience worse pain than those who do not. Consequently, we have explored the efficacy of several adjuvants including dexamethasone and dexmedetomidine in extending the duration of postoperative analgesia and preventing rebound pain. Since applying these adjuvants directly on the nerves (perineurally) is associated with safety concerns (neurotoxicity), we have examined and successfully demonstrated that the systemic routes of administration of these adjuvants are effective in prolonging the duration of analgesia.