Practical Review of Abdominal and Breast Regional Analgesia for Plastic Surgeons: Evidence and Techniques

Hassan Elhawary, Girish P. Joshi, Jeffrey E. Janis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Summary: Regional analgesia has been increasing in popularity due to its opioid- sparing analgesic effects and utility in multimodal analgesia strategies. Several regional techniques have been used in plastic surgery; however, there is a lack of consensus on the indications and the comparative efficacy of these blocks. The goal of this review is to provide evidence-based recommendations on the most relevant types of interfascial plane blocks for abdominal and breast surgery. A systematic search of the PUBMED, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases was performed to identify the evidence associated with the different interfascial plane blocks used in plastic surgery. The search included all studies from inception to March 2020. A total of 126 studies were included and used in the synthesis of the information presented in this review. There is strong evidence for using the transversus abdominis plane blocks in both abdominoplasties as well as abdominally-based microvascular breast reconstruction as evidenced by a significant reduction in post-operative pain and opioid consumption. Pectoralis (I and II), serratus anterior, and erector spinae plane blocks all provide good pain control in breast surgeries. Finally, the serratus anterior plane block can be used as primary block or an adjunct to the pectoralis blocks for a wider analgesia coverage of the breast. All the reviewed blocks are safe and easy to administer. Interfascial plane blocks are effective and safe modalities used to reduce pain and opioid consumption after abdominal and breast plastic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3224
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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