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Ann Plast Surg. 2018 Oct;81(4):441-443. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001573.

The Evolution of Iliac Bone Graft Donor Site Analgesia in Cleft Patients: Transversus Abdominis Plane Block Is Safe and Efficacious.

Author information

1
Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
2
Division of Plastic Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
3
Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI.
4
Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block has been increasingly used as a means of abdominal wall analgesia. This study aims to determine if TAP block analgesia provides a benefit in cleft patients undergoing alveolar bone grafting with iliac crest cancellous bone graft.

METHODS:

Two groups of 20 consecutive patients undergoing alveolar bone grafting with iliac crest cancellous bone with either TAP block or indwelling catheter pain pump were examined in a retrospective fashion. Demographic data, pharmacologic use, and hospital length of stay were examined.

RESULTS:

Mean lengths of stay were identical between both groups. Patients in both groups received similar cumulative doses of morphine equivalents, codeine, ibuprofen, and ondansetron at 6 and 24 hours postoperatively. Transversus abdominis plane block patients received greater amounts of Tylenol at both 6 and 24 hours (P = 0.0015 and P = 0.0106). Pain scores did not differ significantly across our groups at 6 or 24 hours postoperatively. No adverse events were reported with the TAP block procedure.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients undergoing TAP blocks receive the benefit of a single stage procedure without an indwelling catheter and similar 6- and 24-hour morphine usage. Given the safety profile of the procedure, its effectiveness and comfort without indwelling catheter, we advocate for TAP block analgesia as an adjunct therapy in the management of postoperative pain in this population.

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