Comparison of postoperative pain between laparoscopic and robot-assisted partial nephrectomies for renal tumors: A propensity score matching analysis

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Robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN) has emerged as an alternative to laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) for removal of renal tumors. Several advantages of robotic surgery have been reported, but there is no comparative study on postoperative pain between the 2 techniques. Therefore, we compared the postoperative numerical rating scale (NRS) of pain intensity between patients who underwent LPN and those who underwent RAPN.

We included 705 patients who underwent either LPN (n = 200) or RAPN (n = 505) for renal tumors between January 2000 and September 2016. After 1:1 propensity score matching, the final analysis included 142 patients each in the LPN and RAPN groups. The primary endpoint was postoperative NRS of pain intensity. The secondary endpoints were opioid requirement, opioid-related complications, and duration of hospital stay.

Preoperative and intraoperative values of propensity score matched patients (n = 284) were not significantly different between the LPN and RAPN groups. There was no significant difference in NRS of pain intensity between the 2 groups. Opioid requirement was different between the 2 groups on postoperative day (POD) 0 (12.4 vs 11.3 mg of morphine-equivalent dose), but not from POD 1 to POD 4. The incidence of opioid-related complications and duration of hospital stay were not significantly different between the 2 groups.

Postoperative pain was not significantly different between patients who underwent RAPN and those who underwent LPN. This result provides a potentially useful knowledge of postoperative pain characteristics in RAPN and LPN.

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