Efficacy of ultrasound-guided transversus abdominis plane block for postoperative analgesia in patients undergoing inguinal hernia repair

Local Reg Anesth. 2016 Jan 18;9:7-12. doi: 10.2147/LRA.S93673. eCollection 2016.


Background and aim: Transversus abdominis plane block (TAP block) is a novel procedure to provide postoperative analgesia following inguinal hernia surgery. The utilization of ultrasound has greatly augmented the success rate of this block and additionally avoiding complications. The aim of our study was to gauge the analgesic efficacy of ultrasound-guided TAP block in patients undergoing unilateral inguinal hernia repair.

Materials and methods: Sixty patients scheduled for elective inguinal hernia repair were selected for the study. At the end of the surgical procedure, they were randomly divided into two groups. Ultrasound-guided TAP block was performed with 20 mL of ropivacaine 0.2% (group A) or normal saline (group B). Visual analog scale (VAS) scores were used to assess pain. Paracetamol was given if VAS > 3 and tramadol was used when VAS > 6. Patients were monitored for VAS scores and total analgesic consumption for the 24-hour period.

Results: The TAP block with ropivacaine (group A) reduced VAS scores at 4, 6, and 12 hours. There was no distinction in VAS scores at 0, 2, and 24 hours between the two groups. The duration of analgesia for TAP block with ropivacaine lasted for 390 minutes. Total analgesics consumption was also significantly reduced in group A than group B. No complication was reported to TAP block in both the groups.

Conclusion: The ultrasound-guided TAP block provides good postoperative analgesia, reduces analgesic requirements, and provides good VAS scores with fewer complications following inguinal hernia surgery.

Keywords: inguinal hernia repair; postoperative analgesia; ropivacaine; transversus abdominis block; ultrasound.