Purpose: Managing postoperative pain is important to ensure a good quality of life and fast recovery after surgery. We examined the feasibility of peroral management for the postoperative pain after laparoscopic-assisted distal gastrectomy (LADG). Methods: Between June 2012 and September 2013, we enrolled 34 patients prospectively to receive peroral tramadol/acetaminophen combination tablets, celecoxib and prochlorperazine maleate after LADG through postoperative day 3 (ORAL group). The postoperative pain was assessed using a visual analogue scale. Postoperative outcomes related to the analgesic methods were compared with those of patients who used epidural anesthesia between January 2010 and December 2011 (EPI group). Results: The ORAL group pain scale scores on postoperative days 1–3 were 3.96, 3.06 and 2.40, respectively. The frequency of additional analgesic use in the ORAL group was significantly lower than in the EPI group (P = 0.006). The rate of urethral catheter reinsertion was 20.6 % in the EPI group (P = 0.054). A multivariate analysis revealed that only epidural anesthesia was a significant risk factor for the need for additional medication four times or more for breakthrough pain (P = 0.048). Conclusion: Postoperative pain management using oral analgesics after LADG is feasible and safe, and is an ideal pain treatment associated with few adverse events while providing pain relief not inferior to epidural anesthesia.
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