Almost all individuals will experience abdominal pain at some point in their lives. In most cases, the pain can be diagnosed and treated quickly for a non-threatening illness. In other cases, the pain may be a sign of a more serious illness such as cancer, adhesions or chronic pancreatitis. If a patient suffers from one of these conditions and needs an abdominal pain treatment, a celiac plexus nerve block is available at OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine for patients in the Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area.
How is the Cause of Abdominal Pain Determined?
Abdominal pain needs to be diagnosed by a thorough physical exam, blood tests, x-rays and other diagnostic tests. Once the cause of the pain is determined, the correct treatment option will be discussed in detail between the physician and patient. If the cause of pain is linked to a condition such as cancer or chronic pancreatitis, an abdominal pain treatment called a celiac plexus nerve block may be administered to alleviate pain.
What is a Celiac Plexus Nerve Block?
The celiac plexus is a bundle of nerves that surrounds the main artery leading into the abdomen, the aorta. A celiac plexus nerve block is an abdominal pain treatment that uses a local anesthetic to block the celiac plexus nerves that transmit pain signals from the abdominal area to the brain.
How is a Celiac Plexus Nerve Block Performed?
The injection process takes approximately 30 minutes for a physician to complete. The injection consists of a local anesthetic. If the pain effects need to be prolonged, a steroid medication or other medication can be added to the anesthetic.
For the celiac plexus nerve block, a patient will lie down on the stomach and receive an intravenous medication to relax. With the help of a guided x-ray, the below steps will then be completed:
- A thin needle will be inserted into one side of the back and an anesthetic is injected
- A second thin needle will be inserted into the other side of the back and a dye is injected to confirm the medication will travel to the right spot
- The pain medication will then be injected into the nerves
Is a Celiac Plexus Nerve Block Effective and Safe?
A celiac plexus nerve block is an effective abdominal pain treatment for many patients. Alleviation from pain will differ for each patient. Some patients report relief for several weeks while others report relief for several years.
The risks of a celiac plexus nerve block are very low. There may be some bruising or soreness at the injection site. Some complications can occur in certain patients such as infection or nerve damage and bleeding. If you believe a celiac plexus nerve block is the correct abdominal pain treatment for you, contact OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine for more information.