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Celiac Plexus Block

What is it?
Celiac Plexus Block is a block commonly used to treat severe abdominal pain from Cancer or Chronic pancreatitis that has been so far unresponsive to oral medications and other conventional treatments. The celiac plexus is a bundle of nerves that surrounds the aorta.

How Long does the Procedure Take?
Celiac plexus block takes less than 30 minutes to perform. The procedure is typically done under Fluoroscopic guidance where local anesthetic and steroid are injected. Other medications can also be injected as epinephrine, Clonidine, Alcohol or phenol for more permanent results.

What are the Expected Results?
The relief from a positive diagnostic block is almost immediate, as the effects of the local anesthetic should typically be felt before the patient even leaves the office. The local anesthetic will wear off in just a few hours and the pain may return, which is normal. Longer term relief usually begins in 2-3 days, once the steroid begins to work. Usually patients need a series of injections to continue the pain relief. If the pain returns, you can have block every few months. Other options to consider for longer term relief may include, RFA of the celiac plexus, Phenol or Alcohol injections.

What are the risks?
Complications from the block are very low. Side effects can include: low blood pressure and diarrhea.