Effects of ultrasound guided caudal epidural and transversus abdominis plane block on postoperative analgesia in pediatric inguinal hernia repair surgeries

Published:November 14, 2022DOI:



      Ultrasound guided caudal epidural block (CEB) and transversus abdominis plane block (TAPB) are two techniques which are used for pain management after inguinal hernia surgeries (IHR). CEB is accepted as gold standard for lower abdominal surgeries while TAPB is more popular.


      It is aimed to compare ultrasound guided CEB and TAPB for postoperative pain scores, additional analgesic requirement and chronic pain development in pediatric bilateral open IHR.

      Study design

      Seventy patients aged 1–7 years undergoing bilateral open IHR were included in this prospective, randomized, double-blinded study. Patients were randomized into group T (Bilateral TAPB) and group C (CEB). Postoperative FLACC (Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability) scores were evaluated for pain density. Additional analgesic requirement, length of hospital stay was also recorded. Chronic pain is evaluated within a subgroup by using “revised Bieri faces pain scale” in the postoperative second month.


      Postoperative 15th, 30th, 45th min, first, second hour FLACC scores were similar in both groups (P > 0.05). In group C, FLACC scores at postoperative sixth and 24th were significantly higher than group T (1 (0–5) vs 0 (0–2); 1 (0–3) vs 0 (0–2), respectively; P < 0.001). Additional analgesic requirement in the postoperative 24 h was found to be statistically higher in Group C (56.7%) than in Group T (20%) (P < 0.01). Chronic pain development did not differ between the groups (P > 0.05). Length of hospital stay was found to be shorter in patients in Group T compared to patients in Group C [10 (5–14) vs 16 (5–18) hours, respectively; P < 0.01)].


      Our results exhibited that TAPB and CEB for bilateral IHR have similar early analgesic efficacy in children. However; CEB patients experienced higher FLACC scores at the postoperative sixth and 24th hours, and the need for additional analgesics was higher and the length of hospital stay was longer comparing to TAPB. Of note, chronic pain was not observed in any of our subgroup patients (n = 21) who are older than four years.


      Summary Figure
      Graphical AbstractPostoperative FLACC scores of the patients.



      IHR (Inguinal hernia surgery), CEB (Caudal epidural block), TAPB (Transversus abdominis plane block), US (Ultrasound)
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