How Nerve Blocks Help Ensure a Comfortable Plastic Surgery

How Nerve Blocks Help Ensure a Comfortable Plastic Surgery

Posted on July 21, 2023

3 Minute Read: 

When patients decide to undergo plastic surgery, one of the most common concerns is, “How much will this hurt?” At Fiala Aesthetics, we understand your concerns. No one wants to deal with pain after surgery, especially if you’re sensitive to opioid-based pain relievers

 Close up of nerves in the human nervous system

Over the last few years, one of the game-changers in plastic surgery is the adoption of nerve-block techniques. These have dramatically improved the patient experience for a large number of our most common operations. Less pain also means less need for narcotic pain medications, and fewer side effects from pain medications — like nausea, vomiting, and constipation.

How Does a Nerve Block Work?

Simply put, a nerve block is an injection of local anesthetic around a sensory nerve. The anesthetic stops the transmission of pain signals to the brain, so the zone of skin that the nerve serves is effectively “numbed.” 

Types of Nerve Blocks Used by Dr. Fiala

For good nerve blocks in the abdomen and breast areas, Dr. Fiala uses an ultrasound-guided technique. These are performed once the patient is already asleep under anesthesia. Ultrasound guidance benefits the placement of nerve blocks in several ways, including:

  • The ability to see the path of the needle clearly as it passes through tissue, ensuring accuracy and safety
  • Visualization of the exact site of injection within the various tissue layers, allowing for correct anesthetic distribution and needle adjustment to ensure that the nerve block reaches the entire target area 

Some of the types of nerve blocks he routinely uses include:

Transverse Abdominis Plane (TAP) With Exparel

For tummy tucks and liposuction in the abdominal area, Dr. Fiala uses a TAP nerve block with Exparel. The main sensory nerves run in-between your oblique muscles of the abdomen, just below the fascia of the transversus abdominus muscle, which is the medical name of the innermost oblique muscle. A well-placed injection in that level can numb a large area of your abdominal skin. 

Exparel is a local anesthetic, meaning it only affects the surgical site, unlike opioids, which as a systemic medicine, would affect your whole body. One injection of Exparel lasts for the first few days of surgery and allows for pain relief without the risks associated with opioid use. 

The combination of a TAP nerve block with Exparel has been shown to reduce the need for postoperative pain relievers. Patients get effective pain relief and the occurrence of side effects associated with these medications, such as nausea, vomiting, and over-sedation, are reduced.

Erector Spinae Plane (ESP) Block

The ESP block can be used to numb various areas of the back or lateral chest. This nerve block is especially beneficial for liposuction cases that involve treating the muffin top or love handle areas.

Pectoralis Nerve (PECS) 

The PECS nerve block works like the TAP nerve block; only PECS is used for breast surgeries. The PECS block is placed between the pectoralis major muscle and the pectoralis minor muscle to ease pain after breast lifts, reductions, or complex revisions. It’s effective for numbing the middle and outside portions of the breast.

Nerve blocks wear off over time, and side effects are rare, making them an excellent choice for pain management after surgery. 

Learn More About Plastic Surgery in Altamonte Springs 

If you’re looking for the best plastic surgeon in the Orlando area, look no further than Dr. Fiala and Fiala Aesthetics. 

Whether you want to sculpt and enhance your curves with a Mommy Makeover or erase telltale signs of age on your face, Dr. Fiala and his highly trained and experienced staff are here to help. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 407-339-3222 or fill out the form on our contact page


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Suite 2020
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
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