stellate ganglion

Redefine Healthcare is pleased to announce that they offer stellate ganglion blocks at their New Jersey locations. Part of the sympathetic nervous system, the stellate ganglion is located on either side of the voice box in the neck. A stellate ganglion block involves injecting medication into the nerves to help reduce pain in the upper chest, upper arm, neck, and head. It can also improve the blood supply to the arm. Stellate ganglion blocks are often used to diagnose or treat problems with circulation or nerve injuries such as phantom limb pain, causalgia, or reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

How it’s done

When you have a stellate ganglion block, you’ll first receive an IV medication to help you relax. You’ll lie on an x-ray table on your back, and the doctor will clean your neck. They will then inject a local anesthetic with a thin needle inserted into your neck. Finally, using ultrasound or x-ray guidance, the doctor will use a second needle to inject another anesthetic medication. This procedure typically takes 30 minutes or less. Patients are monitored in the recovery room and then discharged to return home the same day.

What to expect during recovery

For the first 24 hours after a stellate ganglion block, you should avoid driving and strenuous activities. Generally, you will be able to return to your normal activities the following day. Once your voice has returned to normal, you can sip water, working back up to eating solid foods gradually.

How effective is it?

Often, patients report immediate pain relief after a stellate ganglion block, but then notice that the pain returns in a few hours, once the local anesthetic has worn off. Other patients experience lasting relief from the beginning; they can reduce the amount of pain medication they’re taking and participate more in physical therapy and other activities. Patients experience different durations of pain relief — some report no pain for days or even weeks. Often, a series of blocks are needed for continued pain relief. The results tend to last longer with each procedure.

What are the risks?

The risks associated with this treatment are minor. Serious complications such as nerve damage, bleeding, and infection are rare. More common side effects include drooping eyelids, tearing, bloodshot eyes, nasal congestion, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and tingling or warmth in your arm or hand. These effects are temporary and subside within a few hours.

“Stellate ganglion blocks are a minimally-invasive treatment that help many patients achieve significant and long-lasting pain relief,” says a Redefine Healthcare spokesperson. “We are very pleased to be offering this procedure and look forward to continuing to provide exceptional care for our patients.”

If you would like more information about stellate ganglion blocks or are wondering if this treatment might be right for you, you can book a consultation with Redefine Healthcare. Please call (732) 313-2610

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