Stellate Ganglion Block

Stellate ganglion nerve block is an injection that numbs branches of nerves in your neck which allows the physicians to 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 including blushing, heart rate, sweating and the dilation of your pupils. For this procedure, you lie on your back and are given a mild sedative to make you feel relaxed. After the skin and tissue at the injection site is numbed, 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) which shows a video image of the needle’s position. The physician injects medicine which numbs the nerves and reduces inflammation. If these nerves have been a source of pain, the medicine can relieve the pain. 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 effects. The arm on the side where you were given the injection may feel warm and tingly. Your voice may be hoarse, and nasal congestion, a flushed face and a droopy eye may occur. These side effects are normal and usually disappear after a few hours. Treatment may require you to return for a series of injections. Your PCA physician will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan.