Overview & Procedure
A stellate ganglion block is a minimally invasive procedure that can effectively treat pain from Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type 1 and 2, Phantom Limb Pain, Intractable Angina, Herpetic Neuralgia from Herpes Zoster (shingles), Arterial Insufficiency, Raynaud's Phenomenon, Scleroderma, Hyperhidrosis (excessive perspiration) of the face and upper extremities, hot flashes and sleep disorders related to hot flashes or Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and loss of taste and/or smell related to Covid infections. For patients to receive optimal relief, the injection may need to be completed more than once.
This procedure is typically performed under sedation. After the sedation is initiated, the physician will numb the skin to ensure the procedure is comfortable. Once the anesthetic has taken effect fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance will be used to insert a thin needle into the neck next to the spine where the cervical sympathetic nerves are located. After correct needle placement is confirmed, medication is injected to decrease pain coming from the lower extremities.
Immediately after the procedure, patients are sent to a separate room to recover. During this time, the patient’s vitals are monitored for any signs of an adverse reaction. Typically, patients resume full activity the next day. Soreness around the injection site may be relieved by using ice and taking a mild analgesic. Pain relief from a Stellate Ganglion block typically lasts weeks to months and can be repeated. Complications are rare, but if patients notice any signs of an infection, rash, or fever, we strongly encourage them to come to Southwest Spine and Pain Center.