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Stellate Ganglion Blockin Phoenix, AZ

Conditions treated

  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Sympathetically maintained pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Causalgia
  • Herpes zoster infection, also known as shingles, affecting the head, neck, upper chest, or arm
  • Phantom limb pain

New research suggests stellate ganglion blocks can help decrease the frequency of your post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related symptoms by regulating the sympathetic nervous system.

Benefits

  • Identify the cause of pain in your face, head, arms, and chest
  • Reduce pain caused by injury to the nerves in your neck, head, chest, or arms
  • Reduce sweating in your head, face, hands, and arms

Procedure

Before your procedure, your doctor may tell you to stop taking any immunosuppressant medication to reduce your risk of complications. You cannot receive a stellate ganglion block if you have an active infection, fever, high blood pressure, or take blood thinners. If you become sick with the flu or cold prior to your procedure, you’ll need to reschedule the procedure post-recovery. 

During the procedure, you’ll be asked to lay on your back and will typically be sedated. Your neck will be disinfected before the medical professional performing the procedure injects an anesthetic near the stellate ganglion using a continuous x-ray for guidance. You won’t be permitted to talk, cough, or swallow during the procedure, as these activities can move the needle. It typically takes about five to ten minutes for the medication to be injected and about ten to twenty minutes for it to take full effect. Once the medication has been injected, you’ll be asked to sit up if the pain is normally in your arm or remain lying down if your pain is normally located in your head.

Recovery

Following the injection, you’ll remain in an observation room for about an hour. Once the sedation wears off and the doctor discharges you, you’re able to go home. You’ll need someone to drive you home. 

You may experience droopy eyes and tenderness in your neck, which may affect your balance. You cannot eat or drink anything for about four hours after the nerve block, and you cannot drive or operate heavy machinery for the remainder of the day. 

The length of pain relief varies by patient, as some report short-term relief before needing another nerve block while others report long-term pain relief. Nerve blocks can become a part of your regular treatment regimen. It’s common to have increased neck pain following the procedure, but this will dissipate within a few days.

Risk

While this procedure is safe, there remains a rare risk of complications. Your doctor is aware of these risks and decided the benefits outweigh the potential risks.

  • Seizure if the medication is injected into a nearby blood vessel
  • Bleeding, infection, or bruising at the injection site
  • Collapsed lung
  • Temporary numbness in your arm

The Pain Experts of Arizona was founded to bring the highest level of care in a state-of-the-art setting that emphasizes the belief of treating our patients with the same respect, compassion, and dedication we would treat our own friends and family.

Contact our office to schedule an appointment and let us help you get back on your way to an active life without the limitations of chronic pain. From our Phoenix office, The Pain Experts of Arizona, serves pain management patients in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, and the entire Phoenix area.