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Transabdominal Plane Block

Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care

Pain Management Physicians & Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine located in Hobart, IN & LaPorte, IN

If you struggle with postoperative pain and want to get back to walking, eating, and feeling like yourself more quickly, a transabdominal plane (TAP) block can provide effective relief. The Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care team offers ultrasound-guided TAP blocks at offices in Hobart, LaPorte, Merrillville, Munster, and Valparaiso, Indiana. The pain management specialists combine leading-edge technology with compassionate care to facilitate recovery. Learn more by calling the nearest office or booking an appointment using the online form today.

What is a transabdominal plane block?

A transabdominal plane (TAP) block is a pain-reducing injection that numbs the nerves on the front plane of the abdominal wall. It aims to decrease abdominal pain caused by irritated nerves or swelling.

The injection may contain only a local anesthetic or also include a corticosteroid medication. TAP blocks help patients return more quickly to walking and eating after surgeries by reducing pain signals.

Who can benefit from a transabdominal plane block?

If you’ve had abdominal, urologic, or gynecologic surgery, a TAP block can help control your pain. These surgeries may include:

  • Large bowel resection
  • Hernia repairs
  • Cesarean delivery
  • Open appendectomy
  • Renal transplant
  • Abdominal hysterectomy
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Additionally, the TAP block aids laparoscopic procedures in general and can be useful for patients who can’t have an epidural.

What can I expect during a transabdominal plane block?

You can have a TAP block at one of the convenient Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care offices or in an operating room (OR).

Your provider numbs your skin before beginning the procedure. You'll receive general anesthesia if you have the procedure in the OR. Otherwise, you can stay awake.

Once you are comfortable, they use ultrasound to ensure perfect placement of the pain-relieving injection. This maximizes the benefits of your TAP block and prevents complications. Your provider can administer the medicine on one or both sides of your abdomen

The procedure is generally quick and well-tolerated. You can sit up and return home the same day.

TAP blocks ease pain in the abdominal area for 16-36 hours. If you need more continuous pain relief, your provider can place a catheter to allow repeated TAP block treatments.

What should I do after a transabdominal plane block?

Movement, particularly walking, is essential after your treatment. Be sure to attend your follow-up appointment, which takes place 2-3 weeks after your TAP block. Let your provider know if you experience any unusual bleeding or swelling at the injection site or a high fever.

You can return to work the day after your procedure.

A TAP block can help you take a more active approach to your recovery journey, and the skilled team at Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care supports you every step of the way. To learn about TAP blocks and whether they can help you, call the nearest office or schedule your appointment online today.