Stellate Ganglion Block is a procedure that is used to treat and diagnose chronic pain of the upper extremities. It involves the introduction of medication to the stellate ganglion, a group of nerves located at the base and at the front of the neck. These nerves carry pain signals related to pain from the head, neck, upper chest and arms.
Stellate ganglion Blocks are used to treat certain nerve conditions. Your physician may order a Stellate Ganglion block in an attempt to recognize the cause and source of chronic pain. The procedure helps alleviate chronic pain caused by:
Stellate Ganglion Blocks entails the use of radiographic images and contrast medium during the procedure to prevent inadvertent injection of major blood vessels. It requires the patient to remain calm during the procedure and is reassured that the introduction of anesthetic and medication may cause a slight discomfort.
Stellate Ganglion Block is an outpatient procedure. Relaxing medications are given to the patient before the start of the procedure. The front of the neck is sterilized and numbed with a local anesthetic. Shoulder support is provided to help raise your chin and tilt your head back.
Contrast dye is injected to confirm the placement of the needle before the delivery of an anti-inflammatory medication. After the medication is administered, the needle is then removed. If the pain is relieved using stellate ganglion block, additional treatment can be provided over time.
Stellate Ganglion Block is the primary treatment for neuropathic pain. Stellate nerve blocks have been proven to reduce the intensity of chronic pain by decreasing the need to prescribe other pain medications that are ineffective and may cause adverse side-effects, helping doctors to alleviate the pain experienced.
This has been the mainstay treatment for pain resulting from affected nerve endings. Your physician will further evaluate the underlying cause, etiology, and the location of the pain.
Individual response to Stellate Ganglion Block varies from short-term to long-term periods of pain relief. Generally speaking,
the pain-free phase lasts longer with each additional injection. Like any surgical procedure, Stellate Ganglion Block carries some forms of risks and these include seizures, bleeding, lung collapse, uncomfortable numbness of the arms that may fade over time, temporary weakness and numbness of the neck, allergic reaction to the medication and contrast dye, and nerve damage and bruising at the needle entry site.
The medication administered blocks the pain transmission in the stellate ganglion, resulting to pain relief. The therapeutic effect of Stellate Ganglion Blocks varies and it is critical to consult your physician for a follow-up check up related to pain relief and onset of untoward reaction to the Stellate Ganglion Block procedure.
Red, F. (2012, October 15). Stellate Nerve Blocks. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from http://www.expertconsultbook.com/expertconsult/ob/book.do?method=display&type=bookPage&decorator=none&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6160-1..00158-7&isbn=978-1-4160-6160-1
APA citations: Screw, D. (2012, August 11). Stellate Ganglion Blocks – Frequently Asked Questions – Pain Management Center – Kernan. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from http://www.brighamandwomens.org/Departments_and_Services/anesthesiology/Pain/Patients/blocks3.aspx?sub=2