Continuous lumbar transversus abdominis plane block may spread to supraumbilical dermatomes Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • PURPOSE: The transversus abdominis plane block is an interfascial block intended to target nerves supplying the abdominal wall. It has been shown to reduce pain and postoperative opioids in abdominal surgeries. We present the case of a high-risk patient in whom bilateral continuous lumbar transversus abdominis plane blocks provided effective postoperative analgesia following infraumbilical midline laparotomy. CLINICAL FEATURES: A 59-yr-old woman with coronary artery disease, severe peripheral vascular disease, and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and pelvic lymph node dissection via an infraumbilical midline laparotomy. Bilateral ultrasound-guided lumbar transversus abdominis plane blocks with catheters were sited intraoperatively. Using only a continuous local anesthetic infusion in the postoperative period, the patient required no systemic opioids or acetaminophen for 81 hr. A sensory block level of T6-L1, higher than that reported following a single-shot technique, remained for 24 hr following infusion discontinuation and finally normalized after 33 hr. CONCLUSIONS: Lumbar transversus abdominis plane blocks with continuous infusions may offer an effective alternative to epidural blockade and systemic opioids in high-risk patients. Additionally, given the extensive somatosensory block, this technique may have an analgesic role following abdominal incisions involving not only the infraumbilical region but also supraumbilical sites.

publication date

  • October 2011