Celiac plexus block are injections containing pain medication that is delivered into your spine area to help relieve chronic abdominal pain commonly resulting from cancer or chronic pancreatitis.
The bundle of nerves that surrounds the aorta is known as the celiac plexus. The aorta is the main artery into your abdomen.
These nerves connect the pancreas, gall bladder, intestines, liver and stomach to the brain and spinal cord. These nerves can carry pain signals to the brain.
Abdominal cancer and pancreatic tumors often cause pain by pressing on these nerves and irritating or injuring them.
Celiac plexus block is used to block these nerves from carrying pain signals to the brain. The aim of this treatment is to reduce the intense pain you are feeling in your abdomen and reduce the need for pain medicines.
Who is an ideal candidate for celiac plexus block?
You may be an ideal candidate for celiac plexus block if you have chronic abdominal pain caused by abdominal cancers or chronic pancreatitis that is not responding to other pain medication.
Preparations for the treatment
Your doctor will review your medical history and medications that you have been taking for the pain. Your doctor may also order tests and imaging scans.
You will need to stop taking blood-thinning medications weeks before your treatment. All other information will be passed to you by your doctor.
How is a celiac plexus block done?
First, you’ll be given an intravenous medication to help you relax throughout the procedure.
You will be asked to lie on your stomach on an x-ray table. Your doctor will numb an area of skin on your back where the needle will be injected with a local anesthetic.
Guided by an x-ray, your doctor will insert a thin needle into your back, next to your spine, and inject the anesthetic into the area.
A second needle on the other side of your spine will be inserted and the anesthetic will be injected.
A contrast dye will then be injected to confirm that the medication will be delivered to the right spot.Your doctor will then inject a pain medication such as epinephrine, clonidine or steroid. After the medication has been injected, the needle will be withdrawn.
The procedure takes about 30 minutes.
What happens after the procedure?
Your abdomen may feel warm and you may start experiencing less abdominal pain. Your abdominal wall or leg may feel numb or weak. This is only temporary.
You can go back home when you feel OK but you’re not allowed to drive. You can return to your normal activities the next day but avoid strenuous and rigorous activities for the next 24 hours
How effective is a celiac plexus block?
How long the pain relief lasts usually varies from person to person. Celiac plexus blocks can relieve pain for several weeks for some persons while it can relieve pain for years for some others.
However, most people usually need to have a series of injections to continue experiencing long-lasting pain relief. Some patients may need just two injections while some others may need more than 10 injections from time to time.
What are the risks of celiac plexus block?
Common risks of celiac plexus block include:
- Bruising or soreness at the injection site
- Pain, tenderness, and swelling at the injection site
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle spasm at the injection site
Other less common but possible side effects include:
- Delayed gastric emptying
- Damage to kidneys
- Seizure or low blood supply to the spinal cord
- Allergic reaction to the dye or medication injected
- Accidental puncture of an organ
- Infection at the injection or IV site
- Collapsed lung
- Nerve damage
Apex Interventional Pain & Spine: Best Celiac Plexus Block Provider
One effective way to control pancreatic cancer pain or severe abdominal pain is through celiac plexus block.
Apex Interventional Pain & Spine is the right clinic you should visit for severe pancreatic or abdominal pain.
We are healthcare professionals that focus on providing pain treatments and managing pain symptoms. We also provide supportive care to improve results and quality of life.
We provide in-depth and personalized treatments to ensure that you experience significant pain relief. We also provide all the necessary information that you may need to help you manage your pain and improve your quality of life.
Contact us today or book an appointment. You can give us a call at 972-833-7256.