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AANA J. 2014 Feb;82(1):73-9.

Transversus abdominis plane (TAP) blocks.


Transversus abdominis plane (TAP) blocks are a relatively new regional anesthetic technique used in a multimodal approach to provide postoperative analgesia of the anterolateral abdominal wall. The technique for placing TAP blocks has evolved from a landmark technique to an ultrasound-guided technique. There are 3 common approaches for accessing the TAP: subcostal, midaxillary, and ilioinguinal-iliohypogastric. The distribution of local anesthetic and the extent of sensory blockade differs with each of these approaches. The approach used is contingent on the type and location of the surgical procedure. Overall, TAP blocks reduce postoperative pain and opioid requirements, resulting in fewer side effects such as nausea and vomiting, respiratory depression, and sedation. Future studies should examine which type, concentration, and volume of local anesthetics are most effective.

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