PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Thoracic myofascial plane blocks have gained popularity because of their ease of performance and relative safety. This review highlights current research demonstrating the efficacy of these blocks for specific surgical procedures and provides a brief description of how these techniques are performed. RECENT FINDINGS: Fascial plane blocks of the thorax and chest wall have been shown to be beneficial in providing perioperative analgesia for a variety of surgical procedures. Studies discussed in this review compare thoracic fascial plane blocks to systemic analgesia alone, contrast these novel methods of pain control to more traditional techniques, such as paravertebral nerve blocks and epidural anesthesia, and attempt to determine, which fascial plane blocks provide optimal postsurgical analgesia. SUMMARY: Thoracic fascial plane blocks provide the anesthesiologist a number of techniques to address postsurgical pain. The relative ease of performance and safety profile of these blocks make them an appealing option for pain control for many patients undergoing thoracic or chest wall surgery. Further research is needed to not only define additional indications for each of these blocks, but also explore optimal dosing including the use of continuous catheter techniques.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine