BACKGROUND: Postoperative (PO) pain interferes with the recovery and mobilization of the surgical patients. The impact of the educational status has not been studied adequately up to now. METHODS: This prospective study involved 400 consecutive general surgery patients. Various factors known to be associated with the perception of pain including the educational status were recorded as was the preoperative and postoperative pain and the analgesia requirements for the 1st PO week. Based on the educational status, we classified the patients in 3 groups and we compared these groups for the main outcomes: i.e. PO pain and PO analgesia. RESULTS: There were 145 patients of lower education (junior school), 150 patients of high education (high school) and 101 of higher education (university). Patients of lower education were found to experience more pain than patients of higher education in all postoperative days (from the 2nd to the 6th). No difference was identified in the type and quantity of the analgesia used. The subgroup analysis showed that patients with depression and young patients (< 40 years) had the maximum effect. CONCLUSIONS: The educational status may be a significant predictor of postoperative pain due to various reasons, including the poor understanding of the preoperative information, the level of anxiety and depression caused by that and the suboptimal request and use of analgesia. Younger patients (< 40), and patients with subclinical depression are mostly affected while there is no impact on patients over 60 years old.