Previous research has not evaluated the potential effect of transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block on quality of recovery following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Therefore, we investigated whether addition of the bilateral subcostal and lateral TAP (bilateral dual TAP [BD-TAP]) blocks to multimodal analgesia would improve the quality of recovery as assessed with the Quality of Recovery-40 (QoR-40).
Patients age 18 to 60 years who were scheduled to undergo elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy were randomized to the BD-TAP or control group. The BD-TAP group received the BD-TAP block with multimodal analgesia under general anesthesia, using 0.25% ropivacaine, and the control group was treated with the same method, except that they received the sham block using 0.9% normal saline. Both groups had the same multimodal analgesia regimen, consisting of intravenous dexamethasone, propacetamol, ibuprofen, and oxycodone. The primary outcome was the QoR-40 score at 24 hours after surgery. Data were analyzed using the independent t test, Mann-Whitney U test, χ2 test, and Fisher exact test.
Thirty-eight patients in each group were recruited. The mean QoR-40 score decreased by 13.6 (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.3–18.8) in the BD-TAP group and 15.6 (95% CI, 6.7–24.5) in the control group. The postoperative QoR-40 score at 24 hours after surgery did not differ between the 2 groups (BD-TAP group, median [interquartile range], 170.5 [152–178]; control group, 161 [148–175]; median difference, 3 [95% CI, −5 to 13]; P = .427). There were no differences between the 2 groups in the pain dimension of the QoR-40: 30.5 (95% CI, 27–33) in the BD-TAP group and 31 (95% CI, 26–32) in the control group; median difference was 0 (95% CI, −2 to 2); P = .77.
Our results indicate that the BD-TAP block does not improve the quality of recovery or analgesic outcomes following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Our results do not support the routine use of the BD-TAP block for this surgery.