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Stellate Ganglion Block Injection


What is a stellgate ganglion block?

The stellate ganglion is a group of nerves that supply the head, upper extremities, and organs of the chest. A stellate ganglion block is an injection of local anesthetic to block the sympathetic nerves located on either side of the voice box in the neck or in the head, upper arm, and upper chest. An injection to the nerves may reduce pain such as pain, swelling, color, and it may also improve mobility. The stellate ganglion block involves inserting a needle through skin and deeper tissues.

This injection is typically ordered by your doctor for pain located in the head, neck, chest or arm caused by sympathetically maintained pain causalgia, herpes zoster, or intractable angina. A stellate ganglion block is used to diagnose or treat circulation problems or nerve injuries, including:

  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Causalgia
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type I or II
  • Herpes zoster infection (or “shingles”) affecting the head, neck, arm or upper chest
  • Phantom limb pain

What happens during an epidural steroid injection procedure?

This is usually the procedure for an epidural injection treatment:

  • The pain management doctor may ask the patient not to eat or drink after midnight the night before.
  • An IV (intravenous) catheter will be placed in your arm and lie on your back for the procedure.
  • A needle will be inserted into your neck usually under x-ray guidance near the stellate ganglion, and local anesthetic will be injected.
  • Your IV will be discontinued and you will stay in our recovery area and your pulse, blood pressure and temperature in the affected arm will be monitored for a period of time
  • You will be given final instructions before you get home.