STELLATE GANGLION BLOCK / SYMPATHETIC BLOCK
The stellate ganglion is a network of nerves that is located in the front of the neck (near the collarbone), between the seventh cervical vertebra and first thoracic vertebra. When individuals experience pain or excessive sweating in the face, neck, chest, arms and/or hands, the stellate ganglion may have a role in mediating this pain. In these cases, a stellate ganglion block (sympathetic block) may be used.
A stellate ganglion block is a local anesthetic injection that is administered by a doctor at the site of the stellate ganglion. It can be used to:
- Diagnose the cause of pain
- Reduce or eliminate pain symptoms
- Reduce sweating in the head, face and upper extremities
- Treat reflex sympathetic dystrophy and complex regional pain syndrome
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE PROCEDURE
A stellate ganglion block is an outpatient procedure. It typically takes about 10 minutes and can be performed under twilight sedation (a mild dose of general anesthesia).
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER STELLATE GANGLION BLOCK TREATMENT
Immediately after the procedure, the pain may lessen significantly or go away altogether. For lasting results, the procedure will likely need to be repeated. The number of injections necessary to get optimal results varies from person to person. People experience long-lasting results after each subsequent injection.