Stellate Ganglion Block

Overview
A stellate ganglion nerve block is an injection that
numbs branches of nerves in your neck. This helps
doctors find and treat a number of problems linked
to the nerves. Treatment may require a series of
injections.


About the Stellate Ganglion Nerves
The stellate ganglion nerves 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.


Preparation
In preparation for the procedure, you lie 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 physician inserts a needle and carefully guides
it to the nerves of the stellate ganglion. The
physician typically uses an x-ray device called a
"fluoroscope." This shows a 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 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 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 may be hoarse. 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.

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