FAQ’s on Sacrococcygeal Block or Ganglion Impar Block
This is a procedure that is performed to alleviate the pain experienced by the patient in his or her pelvic, tailbone or rectal/vaginal area. The procedure involves the administration of an anesthetic and steroid at the sacrococcygeal junction region where the ganglion impar is located.
What are the major indicators for having Ganglion Impar Block?
This block is indicated for a number of disorders which cause chronic rectal and pelvic pain. For instance, this procedure is ideal for patients suffering from coccydynia and chronic perineal pain..
Moreover, people experiencing pain due to abdominal or pelvic cancer would also find this block an effective method for reducing their pain. For disorders of the colon, rectum and the urogenital system as well, the sacrococcygeal or ganglion impar block has proven to be very useful as it can alleviate the pain associated with these disorders and provide instant relief.
Here is a list of the conditions that may benefit:
Chronic Perineal pain
Pain in the distal rectum
Pain in the anal region
Pain in the distal vagina, vulva
Tailbone or coccyx
Sacral postherpetic neuralgia
Distal urethra pain
Cancers like cervical, prostate, testicular, colorectal when metastasize to perineum causing pain that area
Pain due to failed back surgery
Pain in testicular region
What does Ganglion Impar Block entail?
Also known as the Sacrococcygeal ganglion block, this block involves the administration of an anesthetic and steroid medication into the sacrococcygeal region using a hypodermic needle under the guidance of a fluoroscope. The procedure also involves the use of a contrast dye which is inserted into the ganglion impar region before the anesthetic or the medication making sure the needle has been placed in the right position or not.
How does Ganglion Impar Block help the doctor provide treatment?
The ganglion impar block is an extremely helpful procedure for the doctors, as it can be used in two separate ways. It can be used as a diagnostic procedure as well as a treatment method. Ganglion impar or sacrococcygeal block with local anesthetic can be used as a diagnostic tool when evaluating the source of rectal or pelvic pain (Waldman, 2009).
On the other hand, when used for treatment purposes, the injections administered during the procedure contain steroids which reduce the pain by decreasing the inflammation in the region which has been causing the pain.
What to expect when having Ganglion Impar Block?
The sacrococcygeal ganglion block procedure is a simple one which does not require the patient to be sedated. However, the patient is provided local anesthesia to minimize the pain when the needle is inserted in the ganglion impar region.
According to Chelly (2009) the patient is asked to lie down in a prone position with a pillow kept underneath the pubic symphysis. The doctor also applies an anti-septic solution on the injection site to cleanse it of any bacteria that might be present there. The whole procedure takes about 20-30 minutes to complete and you will be allowed to go home the same day. You might experience some pain after the administration of the injection which will go away pretty soon.
What are the risks of having Ganglion Impar Block?
Since there is a breaking of the skin in this procedure, the biggest risk is that of an infection. Other possible complications that might occur include damage to the nerves present in the ganglion impar region and an allergic reaction to the dye inserted prior to the administration of the anesthetic or medication.
What are the benefits of having Ganglion Impar Block?
The most important benefit of ganglion impar block is that it can offer instant as well as long-term relief to the patients from the rectal or pelvic pain that they had been experiencing.
Waldman, Steven D. Atlas of Interventional Pain Management. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier, 2009. Print.
Chelly, Jacques E. Peripheral Nerve Blocks: A Color Atlas. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009. Print.