Stellate Ganglion Block

The doctor has recommended that you receive a Stellate Ganglion Block for the treatment of your pain. A Stellate Ganglion Block is an injection of local anesthetic medication around a nerve in the side of your neck.

Upon arrival at the surgery center a nurse will escort you to a room where you will change into a gown before entering the procedure room. This is a special room, kept to the highest standards of cleanliness. To reduce the risk of “outside germs” we request that only the surgery center staff accompany you there.

 

An intravenous line (IV) will be started prior to the procedure, and you will be placed on a monitor that will check your blood pressure, heart rate, and the temperature of your hands. The IV provides an easy route by which to you will receive medication to help you relax and make the procedure as comfortable as possible. You will not be “put to sleep”, and you will be able to respond and move if the doctor or nurse requests you to. The actual injection only takes a few minutes. It is rare for any of our patients to experience significant pain during the procedure, and every effort is made to ensure your comfort.

 

You will need to stay approximately 30 minutes at the surgery center following the procedure. The medication you received will wear off very quickly. The total time from your arrival at the center to you leaving is approximately 90 minutes. The nurse will inform you of what to expect and how to take care of yourself after you return home. You will also receive these instructions in writing. For safety reasons we request that you do not drive yourself home.

Post Procedure Symptoms

Normal symptoms that may occur and last for 24 hours or more:

  • Pain relief
  • Red droopy eye

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Possible Symptoms

  • Arm weakness/numbness is unusual, but if this should occur the nurse may give you a sling to protect your arm until the symptoms wear off. The nurse may also give you some advice about the safety precautions, if necessary. However, if arm weakness/numbness occurs after leaving the center, please call the nurse for advice.
  • Scratchy throat, hoarse voice, lip numbness, coughing. The nurse will advise you not to eat or drink for two hours, since swallowing will be difficult. The nurse will also give you specific instructions on how to begin drinking once the symptoms have subsided.
  • Headache similar to a migraine may occur in patients with a history of migraine headaches.

 

Please remember that all the above symptoms will pass with time. The ultimate Objective of the injection is to relieve your pain. However, often a series of injections is required to achieve this.

stellate ganglion block

Useful information to report to the doctor at your next visit

  • How much of the pain was relieved after the injection?
  • How long did your pain relief last? (hours, days, weeks?)
  • Was there any change in the type of pain you experience? e.g. Shooting? Aching? Burning?

 

Be sure to take your medicines as the doctor orders, especially if there are any new medicines prescribed on the day of the procedure.

 

The nurse will attempt to contact you by phone in the next few days to ask you how you are doing and ask you some follow-up questions.

 

If you have any problems or concerns that need to be immediately addressed, please call the doctors office.

Silicon Valley Pain Center

360 Dardanelli Ln, Ste 2G

Los Gatos, CA 95032

(408) 356-0503

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