Background: Transvaginal cholecystectomy (TVC) is the most common natural orifice transluminal surgery (NOTES) performed in women, yet there is a paucity of data on intraoperative and immediate postoperative pain management. Previous studies have demonstrated that NOTES procedures are associated with less postoperative pain and faster recovery times. This study analyzes intraoperative and postoperative opioid use for TVC compared with traditional four-port laparoscopic cholecystectomies (LCs). Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of consecutive TVC and LC female patients between August 2009 and August 2012 in an academic institution. We compared demographics, intraoperative and postoperative opioid use and times in the operating room (OR) and in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU). Results: A total of 68 TVC and 67 LC patients were included in this study. The TVC and LC groups were similar in terms of age (both 41 years) and body mass index (29 and 31 kg/m2, respectively). The intraoperative preparation, surgical, and emergence times were significantly longer for the TVC than for the LC (p ≤ 0.01). Compared with the LC group, the intraoperative opioid requirement was significantly greater (TVC 27 mg vs. LC 25 mg; p = 0.003), but after adjusting for anesthesia time, the difference in OR opioid consumption became non-significant (p = 0.08). The PACU opioid requirement (TVC 2.5 vs. LC 5 mg; p = 0.04) was significantly lower for the TVC group, and a greater proportion of patients did not need any pain medications (TVC 38 % vs. LC 21 %; p = 0.04), compared with the LC group. The average PACU pain scores were not significantly different between the groups (p = 0.45). Conclusion: TVC patients did not experience more pain than LC patients. Although the average pain scores of TVC patients did not differ from those of the LC patients, TVC patients did require less pain medication in the PACU.
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