Background and Purpose: Most patients have minimal pain after percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of a renal tumor. However, anecdotally, there is some variation in the amount of patient discomfort. Our goal was to identify relevant patient factors and characteristics of their renal tumors that may influence pain after percutaneous RF ablation. Patients and Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of 59 sequential patients who received percutaneous RFA between 2001 and 2005 at a single institution. Data on patient age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and narcotic administration in the periprocedural period were available for 46 patients. Preoperative imaging (CT or MRI) was reviewed to determine tumor size and location, as well as the shortest distance of the mass to the body-wall musculature. Results: The distance from the renal mass to the body-wall musculature was significantly correlated with the total narcotics received in the periprocedural period. This measured distance did not correlate with the patient's BMI. No other relations between patient factors or tumor characteristics and peri-procedural narcotic usage were identified. Conclusion: Patients whose tumors lie close to their body-wall musculature have greater narcotic requirements in the periprocedural period. Knowledge of this correlation should result in better patient counseling and help anticipate periprocedural analgesia requirements.
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