Pain Treatment | Procedures

Celiac Plexus Block

Do you have abdominal pain due to cancer or chronic pancreatitis and would like to see if Celiac Plexus Block pain injections work for you? Call or request an appointment online with our expert pain specialist at Bay State Pain Associates.

Procedures
Celiac Plexus Block

Are you Suffering from Celiac Plexus Block in West Bridgewater & Norfolk, MA? Our experts are here to take care of your needs and help you get back to better health.

Celiac plexus blocks are injections of pain management medication that help relieve abdominal pain, commonly due to cancer, chronic pancreatitis or adhesions. An injection of local anesthetic is used to block the celiac plexus nerves that transmit pain signals from your abdomen to your brain. A celiac plexus block procedure can be performed as a diagnostic test or a treatment.

Chronic refractory pain significantly decreases quality of life and often requires high doses of narcotics, which can lead to serious adverse side effects. Celiac plexus blocks has been shown to have long-lasting improvement in abdominal pain and decreased narcotic usage in 70 to 90% of patients. In addition, with fewer than 2% of patients experiencing major complications, celiac plexus blocks is a quick, safe procedure. For some, celiac plexus blocks can relieve pain for weeks. For others, the relief can last years. Many can return to their normal activities. Usually people need a series of injections to continue the pain relief. Sometimes it takes only two injections; sometimes it takes more than 10.

The risk of complication from a celiac plexus block is very low. However, there could be bruising or soreness at the injection site. Serious complications, including infection, collapsed lung, nerve damage and bleeding, are uncommon.

What is Celiac Plexus Block?

A celiac plexus block procedure is an injection performed to reduce abdominal pain. This pain is usually caused by cancer, chronic pancreatitis or adhesions. An injection of local anesthetic is used to block the celiac plexus nerves that transmit pain signals from your abdomen to your brain.

Celiac Plexus pain is often experienced by people who have adhesions, cancer or chronic pancreatitis. The Celiac Plexus (also referred to as the solar plexus) are a complex network of nerves surrounding your aorta. The aorta is important in that it is the main artery encapsulating your abdomen. It is also the largest plexus of nerves in your body. A Celiac Plexus Block is an injection designed to block the solar plexus from carrying pain information to your brain and can stop the painful experiences you are having in your abdomen.

How Long do the treatments last?

These treatments once performed often provide about 6 – 24 hours of pain relief and must be performed by a qualified pain management physician or medical expert. How long the treatment last can vary depending on the patients condition.

How can I get this treatment?

Call or book an appointment online with one of our pain experts. They can help you diagnose and treat the chronic pain in your abdomen using these specialized techniques and also determine if this is the right course of treatment for you. Our experts can also determine if you will need further treatments and can give you directions on how best to manage your pain. Talk to our friendly staff and pain management doctors about how you can take control of your health and reduce your pain so that you feel better.

Procedure

First, you’ll be given an intravenous medication to relax you. Then, you’ll lie on your stomach on an x-ray table. The doctor will numb an area of skin on your back with a local anesthetic. Then, guided by an x-ray, he or she will:

  • Insert a thin needle into your back, next to your spine, and inject anesthetic
  • Insert a second needle on the other side of your spine
  • Inject dye to confirm that abdominal pain treatment medication will go to the correct spot
  • Inject pain medication, such as epinephrine, clonidine or steroid; alcohol or phenol also may be injected to destroy the nerves
  • Usually, the procedure takes less than 30 minutes, and you can go home the same day.

After the Procedure

Your abdomen may feel warm or “different,” and you may begin to feel less abdominal pain. You can continue your regular diet and pain management medications immediately, but do not drive or do any rigorous activity for 24 hours after the procedure. Take it easy. You can return to your normal activities the next day.

The nerve block may last several days, but it may last longer with each repeat injection.

A celiac plexus block may be right for you if you have chronic abdominal pain, especially linked to abdominal cancers, which does not respond to other pain medication. There’s a better chance of a block relieving your pain if you have the procedure earlier in your illness.

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