Chronic pain is a well-known complication after surgery, but the prevalence of persistent pain after melanoma surgery is unknown. This study examined the prevalence and predictors of persistent pain after melanoma surgery.
Between September 2005 and June 2009, 448 patients underwent surgery for cutaneous melanoma at the Department of Plastic Surgery, Aalborg Hospital. A questionnaire was sent to all 402 survivors, and 350 (87.1%) responded. In addition, all patients with pain and a control group of sex-matched and age-matched patients without pain were invited to a clinical examination.
Thirty-four patients (9.7%) reported pain in the scar area within the last month, and 8.6% reported chronic pain. The pain was mostly mild with little impact on daily life, but 1.7% reported moderate to severe pain, and 3.4% reported at least moderate impact of pain on daily life. Sensory changes were reported by 108 patients (31.5%); 25% of these had pain compared with 3% of patients with normal sensation [P