Stellate Ganglion Block

This pain management procedure is used to diagnose or/and treat pain, that comes from sympathetic nerves. Stellate Ganglion Block is treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndromes and shingles. Shingles is a painful rash that can affect your head, face, neck and arms. Usually a series of injections is needed to get long term pain relief.

During the procedure the patient lies on his/her back on a special table equipped with fluoroscopy. A physician uses fluoroscopy to confirm that the needle tip is in the correct location. The patient takes intravenous anesthetic for relaxation and a local anesthetic is provided to numb the skin and tissue down to the ganglion nerves. Then a mixture of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medicine is injected to block pain signals that travel to the brain via the ganglion nerve. If the first injection alleviates the pain then more injections can follow over time. Pain relief usually lasts longer after each injection.


Possible side effects could be compared with common injection side effects, i.e. allergic reaction, bacterial infection, or bleeding in seldom cases. Steroid side effects are facial, eyes, arms, or legs swelling and elevated sugars for diabetic patients.

It is very important that the patient inform the physician about pregnancy or if he/she is taking blood thinning medication.