CELIAC PLEXUS NERVE BLOCK
The celiac plexus is a nerve bundle located in the upper abdomen behind the pancreas and near the aorta. It connects the pancreas, gallbladder, intestines, liver and stomach with the brain and spinal cord. The nerve block can help a patient avoid breakthrough pain.
The celiac plexus nerve block is a procedure that damages the celiac plexus nerves so they can not send pain messages to the brain. It is a procedure used for patients with intense abdominal pain such as chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A CELIAC PLEXUS NERVE BLOCK PROCEDURE
A celiac plexus block can happen three ways:
- During surgery
- During an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
- By inserting a needle through the skin
If done as a separate treatment, the patient will be relaxed with an intravenous medication before the procedure. The procedure is done on an X-ray table with a local anesthetic. Two needles will be inserted on the both sides of the spine and a dye will be used to confirm that the medication has been inserted in the correct spot.
The whole procedure takes between 30 to 60 minutes and the patient can go home the same day.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE
After the procedure the patients feel some but not total pain relief. The nerve block typically lasts between 3 to 6 months, and the patient may have to repeat the procedure afterwards for continued pain relief.