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Stellate Ganglion Block

Stellate Ganglion Block

What is it?

The stellate ganglion is formed by the inferior cervical ganglion and the first thoracic ganglion and relays sympathetic information as part of the autonomic nervous system. This serves as an unconscious regulator of respiratory and heart rate, digestion, and vascular dilation and constriction, among others.

What is the purpose?

Indications for stellate ganglion block include: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), postherpetic neuralgia, phantom pain, vascular headaches, Long QT syndrome, or intractable angina.

How will it affect my daily life?

For this injection you may need a driver from the procedure if oral sedation is used. Activity is as tolerated.

What can I expect?

This is an outpatient procedure that is well tolerated. You will need a driver from the procedure if you receive oral sedation or if your condition warrants.

What are the risks and side effects?

Generally speaking, this procedure is safe. However, with any procedure there are risks, side effects and possibility of complications. The most common side effect is pain - which is temporary. The other risks involve, infection, bleeding, worsening of symptoms etc. The other risks are related to the side effects of steroids: These include weight gain, increase in blood sugar (mainly in diabetics), water retention, suppression of body's own natural production of cortisone etc. Though uncommon, serious side effects and complications include risk of stroke and internal bleeding (due to the injection site being near vascular structures and the neuroaxis), seizure and paralysis.