When you’re experiencing pain emanating from the uterus, prostate, testicles, bladder, colon, or other areas within the pelvis, or resulting from radiation injury, endometriosis, IBS, or cancer occurring in the pelvis, a hypogastric plexus block can bring you lasting and meaningful relief. The block involves the injection of anesthesia and steroids into the hypogastric plexus, a bundle of nerves located at the base of your spinal cord that provides sensation to your pelvis. Khavkin Clinic has been serving its clients with pain control methods like these for years under the direction of Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin.
Hypogastric Plexus Block: Simple and Effective
The procedure for a hypogastric plexus block is very straightforward and doesn’t take long to complete. It begins by having the patient lay on the x-ray table on their stomach, a numbing agent is applied to the injection site, at which point the injection procedure proper begins:
- Two needles are inserted into the back, one on each side.
- Contrast dye is injected to ensure that the needle is in the correct spot.
- Steroids and pain medication are installed at the site, sometimes with a mix of alcohol or phenol to destroy the nerves.
It usually takes 30 minutes to perform this procedure, followed by a 30 minute observation period to ensure that everything went smoothly.
Is A Hypogastric Plexus Block Effective?
For most patients the pain relief is noticeable within 30 minutes following the injection, though in some cases the pain will return in just a few hours after the anesthetic wears off. More lasting relief begins two to three days following the injection once the steroid has a chance to become effective. Pain can remain absent or controlled for weeks or years, depending on the individual patient. In the event the pain recurs you can receive a new hypogastric plexus block every few months.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Receiving A Hypogastric Plexus Block?
All medical procedures come with some degree of risk, though in the case of the hypogastric plexus block those complications are exceedingly rare. Most typically they consist of tenderness or bruising at the site of the injection. In rare cases, more severe complications can result, including nerve damage, infection, and bleeding. Additional side effects associated with the steroid medication include:
- Low Fever
- Retaining Water
- Heart Rate Increased
- Appetite Increased
- Cramping or Bloating
These symptoms typically pass in just a few days, if they persist you should contact your medical professional.
What Can I Expect After The Procedure?
In most cases, patients experience a significant reduction in pain after the injection. No dietary restrictions or changes in medication are typically necessary with this procedure but do avoid driving or any physically demanding activity for 24 hours following the injection. After that, you should be clear to continue your day to day activities unchanged. Some patients report a feeling of warmth or simply something “different” in the area around the injection, these are normal. If you have any questions or concerns prior to or following your procedure, contact your pain management doctor in Las Vegas, NV for more information.