Clinical implications of the transversus abdominis plane block in pediatric anesthesia

Authors

  • Christine L. Mai,

    1.  Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    2.  Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Mark J. Young,

    1.  Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Sadeq A. Quraishi

    1.  Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    2.  Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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Sadeq A. Quraishi, Harvard Medical School, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, GRJ 402, Boston, MA 02114, USA
Email: squraishi@partners.org
Section Editor: Adrian Bosenberg

Summary

Optimal perioperative analgesia for infants and children after major abdominal surgery poses a challenge when central neuraxial techniques are contraindicated. As a regional anesthesia technique, the transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block has been shown to reduce opioid consumption and improve pain scores compared to traditional perioperative pain strategies. Accordingly, TAP blocks may be considered as an alternative to central neuraxial analgesia to optimize perioperative pain control. Advancements in ultrasound technology have further improved the reliability and safety profile of this technique. Despite growing recognition of the diverse clinical scenarios where TAP blocks may be of benefit, its use among pediatric anesthesiologists remains limited. This article describes the history, anatomy, and a review of the current literature on TAP blocks with an emphasis on outcomes in pediatric patients.

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