Patients experience pain after surgery mostly from their abdominal wounds, even when those
wounds are small. Decreasing that pain has many benefits. It improves comfort, decreases
stress response and might improve the outcome of the surgery. Local anesthesia (which is a
numbing agent given directly at the site of pain via a needle) is given to decrease the pain
that is felt after surgery and decrease the need for strong pain medications which can have
negative side effects.
One promising way to give local pain medication is called the "transversus abdominis plane"
or TAP block. This method works by directly blocking the nerves in the abdomen that are the
cause of the pain patients feel in their incision after surgery. This is done by injecting a
numbing agent (Bupivacaine) into the area of their abdomen where their nerves are located
that cause pain.
In the case of nerves that carry sensation, bupivacaine blocks the pain sensation traveling
in a particular nerve.
Patients will be randomized (like a flip of a coin) to receive either a normal saline
injection or the bupivacaine injection.
The purpose of this study will be to prove the effectiveness of local anesthetic given via a
TAP block in improving postoperative pain, decreasing the use of pain medications, decreasing
postoperative nausea and vomiting and improve surgical outcomes such as hospital length of
stay in laparoscopic colorectal surgery.