Background: Every year, millions of patients receive sedatives for reduction of anxiety before surgery, but there is little objective data on the effect of this treatment on postoperative outcomes. To address this issue, the effects of benzodiazepine administration were evaluated in women undergoing abdominal surgery. Methods: Patients were randomized to receive 1 nag of oral lorazepam the night before surgery and 5 mg of intramuscular midazolam on the morning of surgery (n = 34), or to receive a placebo the night before surgery and on the morning of surgery (n = 36). Postoperative pain (Visual Analogue Scale for pain, McGill Pain Questionnaire) and analgesic consumption (patient-controlled analgesia), and clinical recovery parameters such as time to discharge from hospital were evaluated after surgery. Results: Patient-controlled analgesia use showed a marginal main effect of treatment group (F(1,51) = 2.8; P = 0.047). Post boc analysis demonstrated that patient-controlled analgesia consumption was significantly lower in the treatment group only during the first 4 h of patient-controlled analgesia use after surgery (P = 0.027). There were no significant group differences at any later postoperative time points (P = not significant). There were no group differences in the cumulative Percocet (Pfizer, New York, NY) consumption in the postoperative period (P = not significant). Further, serf-reported postoperative pain did not differ significantly between groups at any of the time points (P = not significant). There were also no group differences with regard to any postoperative clinical recovery parameters. Conclusions: Benzodiazepines administered before surgery have minimal beneficial effects on the postoperative clinical course of women undergoing abdominal hysterectomy.