Stellate Ganglion Block Treatment
A stellate ganglion block (sympathetic block) is an injection of local anesthetic into the front of the neck. It is typically ordered by your doctor for pain located in the head, neck, chest or arm that is caused by sympathetically maintained pain (complex regional pain syndrome), causalgia (nerve injury), herpes zoster (shingles) or intractable angina. Stellate ganglion blocks are also used with circulation problems, particularly Raynaud's or complex regional pain symdrome (CRPS), to see if blood flow can be improved.
Stellate ganglion blocks may be of therapeutic or diagnostic value. One of three things will happen:
- The pain does not go away, but there is other evidence of a sympathetic block, meaning the pain is not responsive to sympathetic blocks. This is of diagnostic value.
- The pain does not go away and there is no good evidence of a sympathetic block, meaning the block is a technical failure.
- The pain goes away after the injection and stays away longer than the life of the local anesthetic, meaning the block was of therapeutic value.
The procedure will most likely have to be repeated to achieve a long-lasting benefit. The spacing of injections will be based on how long the pain relief lasts between injections. Usually, you will experience a longer benefit following each subsequent injection.
Superior hypogastric block
A superior hypogastric block is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid around the sympathetic nerves which supply the organs of the pelvis.
These nerves are located on either side of the spine in the lower abdomen. After successful diagnostic injection RF ablation or alcohol neurolysis can be performed to provide long lasting pain relief.