Overview & Procedure
Celiac plexus blocks are minimally invasive injections that help alleviate chronic abdominal pain. This treatment is often recommended to patients who suffer from chronic conditions affecting the abdomen, such as cancer or pancreatitis. During the procedure, a Southwest Spine & Pain Center physician administers an intravenous sedation to relax the patient. Next, the pain management specialist will numb an area of the back with a local anesthetic. Once the anesthetic has taken effect, x-ray guidance will be used to insert a thin needle into the back, next to the spine. This needle will contain an anesthetic to temporarily relieve the patient’s pain symptoms. A second needle will be introduced to the celiac plexus nerves so that a contrast dye can be injected into the spine, confirming the location of the affected area. An SWSP physician will finally inject a pain medication into the affected nerves, destroying them for a long period of time.
Immediately after the procedure, patients may experience a warmth in their abdomen, followed by little or no pain. This is due to the anesthesia that was injected during the procedure. Over time, the warmth and numbness in the abdomen will subside, as well as some of the pain relief. An SWSP physician will encourage you to return to your regular diet and medications immediately after celiac plexus block, but he or she will ensure you are not driving or performing any rigorous activities for at least 24 after the procedure. Pain relief from the celiac plexus block may last several days or week depending on the severity of the patient’s condition and symptoms. Talk to an SWSP physician today to learn more about celiac plexus blocks for your chronic abdominal pain.