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Efficacy of transversus abdominis plane blocks in laparoscopic colorectal resections



The increasing use of laparoscopic techniques for colorectal resections means that the issue of postoperative analgesia needs to be reassessed. This nonrandomized comparative study aimed to assess the efficacy of the transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block in laparoscopic colorectal resections.


Prospectively collected data from consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic colorectal resections were used. Analgesia usage and outcome data for patients who had a TAP block and a postoperative morphine patient-controlled analgesia pump (PCA) were compared with those for patients who had a PCA alone.


Data for 74 patients were used in the final analysis (40 TAP/PCA and 34 PCA alone). There was a significant reduction in overall intravenous opiate use in the TAP/PCA group (31.3 vs. 51.8 mg; P = 0.03). The TAP/PCA group showed a slight trend toward a shorter hospital stay (3 vs. 4 days; P = 0.17) but no difference in postoperative complications or any other outcome measure. There was no procedure-related morbidity relating to the use of TAP blocks.


It appears that TAP blocks reduce postoperative analgesia use of patients undergoing laparoscopic colorectal resections within an enhanced recovery program, and this may have an impact on their postoperative hospital length of stay.

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Drs Philip Conaghan, Charles Maxwell-Armstrong, Nigel Bedforth, Chris Gornall, Bryn Baxendale, Li-lin Hong, Hyun-Mi Carty, and Austin G Acheson have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Philip Conaghan.

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Conaghan, P., Maxwell-Armstrong, C., Bedforth, N. et al. Efficacy of transversus abdominis plane blocks in laparoscopic colorectal resections. Surg Endosc 24, 2480–2484 (2010).

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  • Analgesia
  • Colorectal
  • Laparoscopic