Transversus Abdominis Plane Blockade as Part of a Multimodal Postoperative Analgesia Plan in Patients Undergoing Radical Cystectomy



Radical cystectomy (RC) is a morbid procedure with frequent complications that may benefit from implementation of an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocol.

To examine the benefits of a multimodal analgesic plan that uses continuous transversus abdominis plane (TAP) blockade as part of an ERAS protocol after RC.

A retrospective comparison of consecutive patients undergoing RC over a 4-year period was conducted. Patients were designated as having surgery either before or after implementation of an ERAS protocol. A major component of the ERAS protocol was a multi-modal analgesia plan with TAP blockade. Patient demographics, comorbidities, operative details, and outcomes, including days to flatus, bowel movement (BM), narcotic usage, and length of stay (LOS) were compared.

In total, 171 patients were included: 100 pre-ERAS and 71 ERAS. There were no differences in age, smoking status, operative approach, or diversion type. The patients in the ERAS cohort were less likely to be male, had a higher median BMI, and more likely to have received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Total and early postoperative narcotic use were lower in the ERAS cohort: 89 vs. 336 mg (p < 0.001) and 62 vs 203 mg (p = 0.001), respectively. The ERAS cohort had fewer days to flatus (3 vs. 4, p < 0.001) and fewer days to bowel movement (4 vs. 5, p < 0.001). Median LOS was shorter in the ERAS cohort (7 vs. 8.5d, p = 0.001). There were no differences in complications or readmission rates between the two cohorts.

TAP blockade as part of an ERAS multi-modal pain plan is associated with low narcotic usage, and significant improvement in time to flatus, BM, and LOS compared to traditional post-RC pain management.


Authors: Matulewicz, Richard S. | Patel, Mehul | Jordan, Brian J. | Morano, Jacqueline | Frainey, Brendan | Bhanji, Yasin | Bux, Mahreen | Nader, Antoun | Kundu, Shilajit D. | Meeks, Joshua J.

Journal: Bladder Cancer, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 161-167, 2018

Keywords: Regional anesthesia, radical cystectomy, TAP block, ERAS