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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Finnerty O. 1, 2, Sharkey A. 2, 3, Mc Donnell J. G. 1, 3
1 Department of Anesthesia, Clinical Sciences Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland;
2 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland;
3 Clinical Research Facility, Galway University Hospitals, Galway, Ireland
Interest in techniques and applications of the transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block has expanded exponentially since its introduction over ten years ago. The choice of techniques and approaches has been assisted with the availability of ultrasound, but the optimal injection for certain surgical incisions are not yet clear. A literature search was performed looking at anatomical and distribution studies, and clinical trials evaluating the effects of TAP blocks in patients undergoing abdominal surgery. Case reports were also included. Clinical and contrast studies indicate that the landmark and ultrasound guided TAP blocks differ in their spread and mode of action. Regardless, both techniques provide effective analgesia for abdominal surgery. Further research is required to compare TAP blocks with epidural analgesia.