Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block
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If you suffer from pelvic pain which does not respond to oral medications, you could benefit from a superior hypogastric plexus block.
The superior hypogastric plexus contains sympathetic and pain fibers from numerous areas of the pelvic region, including:
Therefore, this procedure can potentially block pain originating from these areas. The pain from these areas could be secondary pain from metastasized cancer, injuries from radiation or endometriosis as well.
Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block Procedure
Your healthcare provider will probably perform your superior hypogastric plexus block from the posterior approach—you will lie face down on an x-ray table for the procedure. If lying in this position is too painful, or there could be technical difficulties involved in reaching the proper area, an anterior approach may be used, with fluoroscopy or ultrasound guidance. The area where the needle will be inserted will be numbed, using a local anesthetic.
A contrast dye will be used to confirm the placement of the two needles. Once the needles are in the correct position, you will receive either a diagnostic block—to determine whether your pain is originating from this area—or a therapeutic block to offer pain relief. If you are having a therapeutic superior hypogastric plexus block, your pain may be significantly relieved.
Risks Associated with Superior Hypogastric Plexus Blocks
The risks associated with a superior hypogastric plexus block is low, and in all the current published literature associated with the procedure, only one major complication has been reported. In theory, a needle can be misplaced, causing bleeding or there could be a puncture of one of the surrounding organs or blood vessels, however the chances of these are extremely low.
Some patients may have a reaction to the anesthetic, and the risk of bleeding and infection always exists any time the skin is punctured. Very good pain relief results have been reported from those with chronic pelvic pain who opted for a superior hypogastric plexus block, in fact, many patients report almost immediate pain relief following the injection, and long-term pain relief benefits are expected for patients receiving a superior hypogastric plexus block.
If you are considering a superior hypogastric plexus block to relieve your pelvic pain, it could be beneficial to speak to a pain specialist from Seattle Pain. Our goal is to relieve your pain while helping you avoid surgery whenever possible, and we will use both traditional and non-traditional treatments to help you manage your day-to-day activities.
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