About TAP Block During Tummy Tuck Recovery
What is a TAP block?
A TAP or Transversus Abdominis Plane nerve block is an injection of local anesthetic (numbing medication) that provides pain control after surgery. The injection numbs the skin and muscles of the lower abdomen from the belly button to the upper thigh. The numbness usually lasts between 12-24 hours, however this can vary with each patient.
How is a TAP block performed?
The injection is performed in the operating room after you are asleep. The anesthesiologist uses and ultrasound machine to visualize the muscle layers of the abdomen and then injects anesthetic between the muscle layers. This medication numbs the nerves that supply sensation to the lower abdomen.
Which patients benefit from a TAP block?
Patients having lower abdominal surgery benefit from at TAP block. A few examples are hernia repair, abdominoplasty, hysterectomy and colectomy.
Benefits of TAP Block
Patients that receive a nerve block require less anesthesia during surgery and less pain medication after surgery. As a result, patients have fewer side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation and feel more alert after surgery
This is a low risk nerve block. However, as with any injection, there is a small risk of bleeding, infection, injury to other structures and local anesthetic toxicity.
A TAP block is part of multimodel pain control and does not eliminate all postoperative pain. Depending on the type of surgery and each patient’s perception of pain, patients may still need additional pain medication after surgery.
For patients having surgery at the Northern Virginia Surgery Center the cost for a TAP block is $150. This is not included in your fee quote from Dr. Hess. For patients having surgery at Fair Oaks Hospital the cost is $200.
Payment for the TAP block should be made prior to surgery and can be included in your anesthesia payment.
Many of Dr. Hess’ tummy tuck patients choose to have a TAP block to help them ensure greater comfort after surgery and rest more easily. If you are interested in learning more about your options for a TAP block, Dr. Hess will answer all your questions at your pre-surgery consultations.