For those suffering from certain forms of cancer or chronic pancreatitis, high levels of abdominal pain are common and can lead to a severe loss of quality of life if left untreated. Thankfully, there is a treatment for the pain resulting from these conditions known as a celiac plexus block. This procedure involves blocking the nerve signals from the celiac plexus, a nerve bundle surrounding a major abdominal artery, the aorta. Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin, your specialist for cancer pain in Las Vegas, NV, has been performing these procedures for cancer patients, and can help you.
How Is A Celiac Plexus Block Performed?
The patient is laid upon their stomach and connected to various forms of instrumentation, including a blood pressure cuff, EKG, and a device for monitoring their oxygen levels. Antiseptic is applied to the skin of the back at the injection site, which is then numbed prior to the injection. X-rays are used to guide the needle to the proper location in the spine and a needle inserted. Following the insertion of the needle, they will inject a die to determine where the injected fluid will spread. If the results are found satisfactory, the injection begins a process which lasts several minutes.
What To Expect After The Block?
Following your celiac plexus block, you may experience some unusual sensations in your abdominal area. Many patients report a sense of warmth or merely an odd feeling of difference that is difficult to classify. Most importantly, your abdominal pain should be significantly reduced following the procedure. In some rare cases, a numbness or weakness of the wall of the abdomen or the leg may be affected.
Is A Celiac Plexus Block Right For Me?
This is a discussion that should be had with your physician, however, there are some indicators that may prompt you to ask this question. One of the biggest indicators is the length of time you’ve had your present condition, those who are in the later stages of their diagnosis often don’t respond adequately to the treatment. Additionally, if you presently have an infection, your diabetes or heart disease isn’t well controlled, or are on blood-thinning medications it’s unlikely this procedure is appropriate for you.
What Risks Are Associated With Celiac Plexus Block?
Overall the procedure is very safe, though as with any medical procedure there are associated risks. Most commonly is soreness or pain that is temporarily present at the injection spot. In some rare instances infection, bleeding, collapsed lung, spinal or epidural block, and injection into the blood vessels or nearby organs occur. While serious, these side-effects are uncommon and do not occur in most patients.
What Will My Recovery Time From The Block Be?
Celiac Plexus Blocks don’t have any lasting side-effects that prevent an individual from returning to work immediately after the block. In most cases, you may return to work the day after and expect little more than some soreness at the site of the injection. In most cases your injection will successfully provide pain relief for many days, allowing you to function normally. Celiac Nerve Blocks will have to be administered multiple times to remain effective. If you have any questions about whether celiac nerve blocks are appropriate for your case, call Khavkin Clinic to schedule a consultation.