PURPOSE The aim of this study was to determine the kind of information patients need preoperatively about postoperative pain (POP) and whether this is affected by previous surgery experience. DESIGN A descriptive study design using preoperative questionnaires. METHODS Questionnaires with fixed questions related to POP and its management were distributed preoperatively to consenting, consecutive surgical patients. Patients were divided into two groups: patients with previous surgery experience (group A) and patients without previous surgery experience (group B). FINDING Of the patients who participated in the study, 94.2% wanted information about POP and 77.8% of them believe that they will feel calmer if they get the information they need. The patients' biggest concern relates to pain management issues after discharge. Next, in order of preference is information about the analgesics that they need to take. The patients want to be informed primarily with a personal interview (59.4%). Previous surgery experience has no effect on patients' needs for information. CONCLUSIONS Most of the patients want to be informed about the management of the POP after being discharged. It is remarkable that patients who had previous surgery experience need the same information with those who had no previous surgery.