What is a Stellate Ganglion Block?
A stellate ganglion nerve block is an injection that numbs branches of nerves in your neck. This helps doctors at Superior Pain Relief find and treat a number of problems linked to the nerves. Treatment may require a series of injections.
About the Stellate Ganglion Nerve
The stellate ganglion nerve travel along both sides of your spine. They are associated with a wide range of bodily functions that you don’t consciously control. These include blushing, heart rate, sweating and the dilation of your pupils.
In preparation for the procedure, you lay on your back. You are given medicine to make you feel relaxed. The skin and tissue of your neck is numbed.
Inserting the Needle
The Pain MD Houston physician inserts the needle and carefully guides it to the nerves of the stellate ganglion. The physician typically uses a x-ray device called a “fluoroscope.” This shows the video image of the needle’s position. Contrast dye may be injected to help confirm that the needle is placed correctly.
Injecting the Medicine
Next, the physician at Pain MD Houston injects medicine. It bathes the nerves. It can numb the nerves and reduce inflammation. If these nerves have been a source of pain, the medicine can relieve it. The injection may also provide other benefits, depending on your needs.
End of the Procedure
When the procedure is complete, the needle is removed and the injection site is covered with a bandage. You will be monitored for a brief time before you are allowed to go home. After a stellate ganglion block, many people experience some noticeable temporary effects. The arm on the side where you were given the injection may feel warm and tingly. Your voice maybe horse. You may have nasal congestion, a flushed face and a droopy eye. These effects are normal, and they usually disappear after a few hours. You may need to return for more injections in the future.
You Have Options
We have seen that a number of clinics focus on one or two modalities for treatment. The problem is that pain is neurological and that means "it's complex". There are a wide variety of therapies, products, at-home activities, procedures and medicines that can be used and we believe there's a place for all. Determining which (or combination thereof) is right for you is a process for you and your Pain MD to work together on.
Those could be laser ablation, spinal cord stimulation, Ketamine infusions, Platelet Rich Plasma, Steroid injections, Stem cell therapy, Botox, trigger point injections and much more!