Quadratus Lumborum Block: A New and Evolving Regional Analgesic Technique (Slideshow)

Strong understanding of the abdominal anatomy is key

Ultrasound-guided injection of local anesthetic in the fascial plane offers anesthesiologists a method that is effective and safe with few complications. One relatively new approach in this realm is the quadratus lumborum (QL) block, a variant of the transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block.

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Over the past four years, Hesham Elsharkawy, MD, staff in the Department of General Anesthesiology, and his colleagues at Cleveland Clinic have extensively studied the QL block. They have developed a specialized approach to performing it and have successfully lobbied for a change in the procedure’s nomenclature. “The QL block has advantages,” Dr. Elsharkawy says, “because you can tailor it to different areas of the body such as the lower chest wall, the upper abdomen, lower abdomen and even the hip and lower extremities.”

The following illustrations highlight important considerations for physicians performing the QL block. All images are republished with permissions from Elsevier and were originally published in Advances in Anesthesia.

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