Journal of Anesthesia

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 39–46 | Cite as

The efficacy of continuous subcostal transversus abdominis plane block for analgesia after living liver donation: a retrospective study

  • Akihiko MaedaEmail author
  • Sho Carl Shibata
  • Hiroshi Wada
  • Shigeru Marubashi
  • Takahiko Kamibayashi
  • Hidetoshi Eguchi
  • Yuji Fujino
Original Article



Postoperative pain management for living liver donors has become a major concern as a result of the increasing number of living liver donations. Transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block has been known to provide effective analgesia for abdominal surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of ultrasound-guided continuous subcostal TAP block as a part of a multimodal analgesic regimen in comparison with conventional intravenous (IV) fentanyl-based analgesia in living liver donors.


Thirty-two donors were retrospectively classified into either the continuous subcostal TAP block group (TAP group) or the IV fentanyl-based analgesia group (control group). TAP group donors received bilateral continuous subcostal TAP infusion of 0.125 % levobupivacaine at 6 ml/h. Control group donors did not receive any neural blockade.


Cumulative fentanyl consumption was significantly lower in the TAP group for 48 h (P < 0.01) as compared to the control group. Further, the donors in the TAP group had significantly lower incidence of nausea and vomiting during 24–48 h postoperatively (P < 0.01) and fewer delays in the initiation of oral intake than those in the control group (P = 0.02).


In conclusion, continuous subcostal TAP block provided an effective opioid-sparing analgesia for living liver donors.


Liver transplantation Living donor Postoperative pain Nerve blocks Local anesthetics 



We are grateful to all the nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other staff who made the study possible. This research received no specific grant from any funding agency.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyNational Hospital Organization Osaka National HospitalOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Graduate School of MedicineOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Graduate School of MedicineOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan

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