Stellate Ganglion Block

What is a stellate ganglion block?

A stellate ganglion block is an injection of local anesthetic (numbing medicine) to block the sympathetic nerves located on either side of the voice box in the neck. An injection at these nerves may reduce symptoms such as pain, swelling, color, sweating changes in the upper extremity and may also improve mobility. This injection is typically ordered by your doctor for pain located in the head, neck, chest or arm caused by sympathetically maintained pain (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), causalgia (nerve injury), herpes zoster (shingles), or intractable angina (pain related to decreased blood flow to the heart). Stellate ganglion blocks are also used to see if blood flow can be improved in those patients with circulation problems related to vascular disease.

Stellate ganglion blocks may be therapeutic (to relieve pain) and/or diagnostic (to determine the source of your pain). If effective, your doctor may recommend a series of these blocks 1-2 weeks apart which may help give you more long term pain relief.

Note: This procedure cannot be performed if you have an active infection, flu, cold, fever, very high blood pressure or if you are on blood thinners. Please make your doctor aware of any of these conditions. This is for your safety!

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