AIM To investigate the association between postoperative pain control and oncologic outcomes in resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). METHODS From January 2009 to December 2014, 221 patients were diagnosed with PDAC and underwent resection with curative intent. Retrospective review of the patients was performed based on electronic medical records system. One patient without records of numerical rating scale (NRS) pain intensity scores was excluded and eight patients who underwent total pancreatectomy were also excluded. NRS scores during 7 postoperative days following resection of PDAC were reviewed along with clinicopathologic characteristics. Patients were stratified into a good pain control group and a poor pain control group according to the difference in average pain intensity between the early (POD 1, 2, 3) and late (POD 5, 7) postoperative periods. Cox-proportional hazards multivariate analysis was performed to determine association between postoperative pain control and oncologic outcomes. RESULTS A total of 212 patients were dichotomized into good pain control group (n = 162) and poor pain control group (n = 66). Median follow-up period was 17 mo. A negative impact of poor postoperative pain control on overall survival (OS) was observed in the group of patients receiving distal pancreatectomy (DP group; 42.0 mo vs 5.0 mo, P = 0.001). Poor postoperative pain control was also associated with poor disease-free survival (DFS) in the DP group (18.0 mo vs 8.0 mo, P = 0.001). Patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy or pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD group) did not show associations between postoperative pain control and oncologic outcomes. Poor patients' perceived pain control was revealed as an independent risk factor of both DFS (hR = 4.157; 95%CI: 1.938-8.915; P < 0.001) and OS (hR = 4.741; 95%CI: 2.214-10.153; P < 0.001) in resected left-sided pancreatic cancer. CONCLUSION Adequate postoperative pain relief during the early postoperative period has important clinical implications for oncologic outcomes after resection of left-sided pancreatic cancer.
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