Stellate Ganglion Block

A stellate ganglion nerve block is an injection that numbs branches of nerves in your neck. This block helps doctors find and treat a number of problems linked to the nerves. The stellate ganglion nerves travel along both sides of your spine and are associated with a wide range of bodily functions that you don’t consciously control. These functions include blushing, heart rate, sweating and the dilation of your pupils. For this procedure, you lie on your back and receive a mild sedative to help you relax. The skin and tissue of your neck are numbed before the physician begins. The physician inserts a needle and carefully guides it to the nerves of the stellate ganglion. The physician typically uses a fluoroscope (a video x-ray) to help guide the needle. The physician then injects medicine which bathes the nerves to numb the nerves and reduce inflammation. If these nerves have been a source of pain, the medicine can relieve it. When the procedure is complete, the needle is removed and the injection site is covered with a bandage. You will be monitored for a brief time before you are allowed to go home. After a stellate ganglion block, many people experience some noticeable temporary side effects. The arm on the side where you were given the injection may feel warm and tingly. Your voice may be hoarse. You may have nasal congestion, a flushed face and a droopy eye. These effects are normal and usually disappear after a few hours. You may need to return for more injections in the future. Your PCA physician will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan.