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TAP Blocks in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Best Plastic Surgeon 2021 - Grand Rapids Magazine Castle Connolly Top Doctor Realself Top 100 New Beauty
Best Plastic Surgeon 2021 - Grand Rapids Magazine Castle Connolly Top Doctor Realself Top 100 New Beauty Best Plastic Surgeon 2021 - Grand Rapids Magazine Castle Connolly Top Doctor Realself Top 100 New Beauty

A TAP block is a post-abdominal surgery pain relief method. It is a type of analgesic — which is essential to reducing pain after surgery to maximize patient comfort.

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When you are ready to make a transformation, you deserve partners on your journey who you trust deeply to deliver the results you want.

The highly experienced team at The Bengtson Center for Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery is led by board-certified surgeons Dr. Brad Bengtson and Dr. David Alfonso. Our surgeons are regularly recognized by patients and colleagues alike for their commitment to innovation, compassionate patient care, and top-quality outcomes. Their work is supported by the thoughtful and passionate collaboration of the entire Bengtson team.

Dr. Bengtson - Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon

Brad Bengtson MD, FACS, Founder

Has consistently been named one of the Best Doctors in America® since 1996 and recognized as Best Plastic Surgeon in Grand Rapids by Grand Rapids Magazine for the last 12 years.

With over two decades of experience, he is respected for his cutting-edge techniques and compassionate patient care. In addition to his work with patients, Dr. Bengtson travels globally to share his knowledge and innovative approaches with fellow plastic surgeons. He is passionate about delivering harmonious, natural-looking results that elevate rather than alter each patient’s unique aesthetic.

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Dr. Alfonso - Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon

David AlfonsoMD, FACS

Has extensive experience performing a range of surgical and non-surgical procedures, with a particular passion for body contouring and facial rejuvenation.

A careful listener and passionate practitioner, he has received numerous accolades, including recognition as a RealSelf Top Doctor since 2015. He also contributes to advancing techniques in the plastic surgery community through regular publications and lectures. Dr. Alfonso is a fluent Spanish speaker, which helps him provide exceptional communication and care to a broader range of patients. 

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Dr. Narges Horriat - Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon

Narges HorriatMD

Understand her patient’s goals, motivations and desires and is always excited to partner with them to achieve safe and exceptional results.

Her philosophy is founded in individuality, enhancement of one’s own natural beauty and in helping her patients restore harmony between their physical body and their truest self. She is committed to excellence and dedicated to using her surgical expertise to help her patients feel strong, beautiful and confident. 

What Are TAP Blocks?

A TAP block is a peripheral nerve block that aims to relieve somatic pain in the abdominal region following abdominoplasty or a cesarean section (“c-section”), for example.

Somatic pain is a specific type of pain that is felt within the skin, muscle, joints, bones, or ligaments. As a tummy tuck surgery results in surgical tissue trauma within the abdomen, the patient may experience significant pain after the procedure — unless the appropriate post-surgical pain relief methods are used.

TAP Blocks patient wearing a hat

What is TAPTransversus Abdominis Plane

TAP Blocks patient wearing a black bikini

This is a fascial plane that lies between the deepest abdominal muscle (known as the transversus abdominis) and the sheath that surrounds the uppermost ab muscles, also known as the rectus abdominis muscle (colloquially known as the “6-pack abs” in layman’s terms). The TAP block anesthetizes certain nerves within this area for local pain relief.

Why Do We Prefer The TAP Block Injection?

At Bengtson Center for Aesthetics, the cornerstone of our mission is providing optimal care so patients can have the best experience possible. Impressing patients with the high level of care they deserve continues even after surgery. Our surgeons want each patient to have a smooth recovery experience after plastic surgery. Our Grand Rapids TAP block specialists will be there to make sure you are as comfortable as possible

For our patients, pain reduction is central to a comfortable recovery. With the TAP block shot, our tummy tuck patients experience far less pain after abdominoplasty — starting from the moment they wake from surgery. Local pain reduction continues for up to 24 hours.

Using peripheral nerve blocks such as the TAP blockade shot means patients enjoy long lasting pain relief after tummy tuck surgery without needing to rely as much on drugs such as oral prescription painkillers or IV opioid aesthetics. Local pain relief with a TAP block provides direct pain reduction to the surgical site without resorting to excessive use of pain-killing drugs. There is no addictive potential with local analgesics such as the TAP block injection.


TAP Block FAQs

How Does A TAP Block Work?

At the end of the tummy tuck surgery, the surgeon inserts a needle containing local anesthetic into the skin above the uppermost abdominal muscles. The injection is placed close to the middle of the patient’s abdomen. The anesthetic is then spread in the fascia between the superficial muscle sheath and the transversus abdominis muscle. Now the ultrasound-guided tap block is complete and will begin to take effect in about 20 minutes.

How Long Does TAP Block Last?

Pain relief for a single TAP block shot is expected to last for 12 to 24 hours. The first 24 hours after surgery are when patients tend to experience the most pain.

With a TAP block, the patient has dramatic localized pain reduction to make the first-day post-op much more comfortable. Local anesthetic reduces significant pain to a feeling of mild to moderate discomfort. Thanks to the TAP block, our tummy tuck patients frequently report that the first-day post-op is not nearly as painful as expected. In most cases, a patient can return home from the hospital the same day as the tummy tuck procedure with greatly reduced pain after surgery. At Bengtson Center for Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery, our surgeons are committed to ensuring our patients not only look great after surgery but also have maximum comfort during the recovery period. The first 24 hours are critical, so we have chosen the TAP block as part of our tummy tuck pain relief protocol.

How Fast Does TAP Block Work?

A TAP block takes about 20 minutes to reach the full analgesic effect. It is usually done before the patient wakes from surgery. This gives time for the TAP block to start working so that the patient wakes in our comfortable recovery room with local pain relief already in place. This allows the patient to feel significantly more comfortable right after surgery. TAP block pain relief is long lasting, providing up to 24 hours of continuous pain reduction.

Does A TAP Block Hurt?

The TAP block is painless because it is performed while the patient is still safely under general anesthesia. The injection is not felt by the patient at all. Your surgeon injects the local anesthetic at least 20 minutes before waking from surgery in the recovery room. This allows enough time for the anesthetic to numb pain after tummy tuck surgery.

Two TAP Blocks patients walking

What Other Tummy Tuck Pain Reduction Methods Exist?

TAP Blocks patient smiling

Along with prescription pain medications, TAP blocks provide direct relief to the tummy tuck surgical site. It is a form of somatic anesthesia to reduce pain in the abdominal wall. TAP blocks may also be used alongside quadratus lumborum blocks (QLBs) in some cases for additional somatic and visceral pain relief after surgery. For any other questions you may have about TAP blocks Grand Rapids specialists at the Bengtson Center can help.

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Arrange a consultation with Dr. Brad Bengtson or Dr. David Alfonso in Grand Rapids. Contact the Bengtson Center today by requesting a consultation online or calling us at (616)588-8880

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Bengtson community

Are you ready to take the next step to a more beautiful you? Plastic Surgeons Dr. Bengtson and Dr. Alfonso, along with the team at The Bengtson Center for Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery, provide advanced plastic surgery and cosmetic treatment for patients from Grand Rapids, Birmingham, Detroit, and Kalamazoo, Michigan. We specialize in breast augmentation, breast implants, and tummy tuck surgery, as well as laser hair removal, Micro-Needling, BOTOX Cosmetic, JUVÉDERM, and other dermal fillers. Results may vary from person to person.