Purpose: To clarify the efficacy of postoperative pain management following laparoscopic gastrectomy (LG), we retrospectively compared pain assessments in patients who received fentanyl plus celecoxib with those who received epidural anesthesia. Methods: From 2011 to 2012, 55 consecutive LG patients at our institution received 48 h of epidural anesthesia for postoperative pain management (group-E). Since September 2013, epidural anesthesia was replaced with 24 h of intravenous fentanyl and 4 days of oral celecoxib. Thirty-three consecutive LG patients who received this analgesic method (group-FC) were included in this analysis. The severity of postoperative pain as assessed by the FACES Pain Rating Scale and the frequency of rescue pain medication were retrospectively compared between the two groups. Results: No significant difference in the severity of postoperative pain on postoperative day (POD) 0 or 1 was observed between the two groups. In contrast, pain was significantly lower in group-FC than group-E on PODs 2, 3, 4, and 7. The total use of rescue pain medications during the first 7 days following LG did not differ between the two groups. Conclusion: Pain management using 24 h of intravenous fentanyl and 4 days of oral celecoxib is comparable to epidural anesthesia following LG.
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