Stellate Ganglion Blocks Specialist

Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine -  - Interventional Pain Management

Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine

Interventional Pain Management Specialists & Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeons located in Warren, MI

Stellate ganglion blocks are injections that help diagnose and treat pain conditions affecting your upper body, namely your head, face, neck, and chest. Martin Quiroga, DO, MBA, and Eduardo Otero Loperena, MD, at Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine in Warren, Michigan, perform stellate ganglion blocks to ease pain and improve quality of life. Find out more about stellate ganglion blocks by calling the office or schedule a consultation online today.

Stellate Ganglion Blocks Q & A

What are stellate ganglion blocks?

Stellate ganglion blocks are injections into the stellate ganglion, a group of sympathetic nerves in the neck. As part of your sympathetic nervous system, the stellate ganglion performs involuntary functions in your face, like the opening and closing of the iris in your eye. 

Normally, these nerves have no involvement in sensory or motor function; however, any injury, trauma, or infection may sensitize the stellate ganglion, resulting in pain. 

Stellate ganglion blocks stop nerve activity, potentially stopping the painful sensations.  

What conditions do stellate ganglion blocks diagnose and treat?

The interventional pain management physicians at Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine may recommend a stellate ganglion block to diagnose or treat pain conditions that involve your head, face, neck, or chest.

Some of the conditions that benefit from a stellate ganglion block include:

  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Causalgia (peripheral nerve injury that causes a burning sensation)
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Shingles infection that affects the head, face, chest, or neck
  • Radiating angina pain

The stellate ganglion block may also decrease excess sweating that affects the face, head, arms, or hands.

What happens during stellate ganglion blocks?

Your provider at Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine injects the medication into the stellate ganglion at the front of your neck. Before the injection, your provider administers a sedative to help you relax during the procedure.

While you lie face up on the exam table, your provider cleanses your neck with an antiseptic agent, inserts a thin needle near your voice box, and injects a local anesthetic.

Using fluoroscopic guidance — a live-action X-ray, your provider inserts a needle near your stellate ganglion and injects the medication.

Stellate ganglion blocks take about 30 minutes. 

What can I expect after stellate ganglion blocks?

Your provider at Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine sends you to the recovery area for monitoring and then sends you home. They advise you to arrange transportation home and take the rest of the day off.

You may not feel an immediate relief in pain following your stellate ganglion block; however, you may experience droopy eyes or a hoarse voice.

Your provider may request you keep a pain diary following the procedure to monitor the effects. Pain relief from stellate ganglion blocks varies from person to person. You may have pain relief for a few days or weeks.

The interventional pain management specialists at Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine recommend a series of injections to gain the most benefits.  

Schedule a pain consultation at Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine by calling the office or book an appointment online today.