PURPOSE: Opioid-based intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV-PCA) is a popular method of postoperative analgesia, but many patients suffer from PCA-related complications. We hypothesized that PCA was not essential in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery by minimal invasive approach. METHODS: Between February 2013 and August 2013, 297 patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer were included in this retrospective comparative study. The PCA group received conventional opioid-based PCA postoperatively, and the non-PCA group received intravenous anti-inflammatory drugs (Tramadol) as necessary. Patients reported their postoperative pain using a subjective visual analogue scale (VAS). The PCA-related adverse effects and frequency of rescue analgesia were evaluated, and the recovery rates were measured. RESULTS: Patients in the PCA group experienced less postoperative pain on days 4 and 5 after surgery than those in the non-PCA group (mean [SD] VAS: day 4, 6.2 [0.3] vs. 7.0 [0.3], P = 0.010; and day 5, 5.1 [0.2] vs. 5.5 [0.2], P = 0.030, respectively). Fewer patients in the non-PCA group required additional parenteral analgesia (41 of 93 patients vs. 53 of 75 patients, respectively), and none in the non-PCA group required rescue PCA postoperatively. The incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting was significantly higher in the non-PCA group than in the PCA group (P < 0.001). The mean (range) length of hospital stay was shorter in the non-PCA group (7.9 [6-10] days vs. 8.7 [7-16] days, respectively, P = 0.03). CONCLUSION: Our Results suggest that IV-PCA may not be necessary in selected patients those who underwent minimal invasive surgery for colorectal cancer.