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A sympathetic block is a minimally invasive procedure where a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid are injected into the sympathetic nerve ganglion. This is done to diagnose and treat patients who have pain disorders involving the sympathetic nervous system, a linkage of nerves throughout the body which originate in the spinal cord. This procedure typically takes about 15 minutes and is done with X-ray guidance.
After the procedure, the patient may experience swelling, soreness, and/or bruising at the site of injection. Other complications that are rare include infection, bleeding, pneumothorax, and/or nerve damage.
To receive a better outcome, it is recommend that the patient, along with receiving a sympathetic block, attends physical therapy, talk therapy, and/or pain medicine.
A lumbar sympathetic block is an injection of local anesthetic into or around the sympathetic nerves. These sympathetic nerves are a part of the sympathetic nervous system. The nerves are located on the either side of spine, in the lower back. Normally these nerves control basic functions like regulating blood flow. In certain conditions, these sympathetic nerves can carry pain information from the peripheral tissues back to the spinal cord.
A stellate ganglion block is an injection of local anesthetic in the sympathetic nerve tissue of the neck. These nerves are a part of the sympathetic nervous system. The nerves are located on either side of the voice box, in the neck.
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Marcello Sammarone, M.D.