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Stellate Ganglion Block

The stellate ganglion is a collection of nerves located on either side of the voice box in the neck. It is part of the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates the body’s involuntary actions, such as digestion, pupil dilation, sweating, etc. Several medical conditions can aggravate these nerves, causing pain in the head, neck, chest, or arm. A stellate ganglion block is an injection of medication into these nerves that can relieve pain.

What is a stellate ganglion block?

A stellate ganglion block is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure for relieving pain originating in the nerves of the stellate ganglion.

During a stellate ganglion block procedure, a local anesthetic (numbing medication) is injected around the stellate ganglion. The medication numbs the ganglion nerves, which blocks sympathetic activity and “switches off” pain.

A stellate ganglion block is an effective pain relief treatment and can also be used to diagnose the cause of pain due to other potential medical conditions.

What can I expect during the procedure?

You will be brought into the procedure room and laid on your back on a special table. If you are receiving sedation, this will be administered prior to the procedure. You skin will be cleaned and numbed prior to any injections being made.

The provider will use a fluoroscope (x-ray machine) to visualize the needle as it is guided to the appropriate site. The numbing medication is then injected around the stellate ganglion. The nerves are bathed in anesthetic, resulting in pain relief.

The procedure generally takes no more than 10 minutes to complete.

What can I expect after the procedure?

You will be moved into the recovery area and monitored by a nurse for 15-20 minutes. If you received IV sedation, you will be monitored for about an hour.

We recommend that you take it easy for the remainder of the day. You may resume normal activities the next day. You may experience tenderness or aggravated symptoms for several days after the injection as the anesthetic wears off. Apply ice packs to help with this pain.

A complete stellate ganglion block therapy generally consists of three injections, each spaced two to three weeks apart. However, the timing and quantity of injections may vary from patient to patient.

Schedule an appointment with Twin Cities Pain Clinic to discuss if a stellate ganglion block can help with your pain.

RELIEVE YOUR PAIN, RENEW YOUR LIFE!

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