Cervical Sympathetic Block/Stellate Ganglion Block

A block for pain caused by nerve dysfunction

The stellate ganglion is a group of nerves in the neck area. A stellate ganglion block is an injection of a local anesthetic (pain-relieving medication) around this group of nerves to relieve pain on side of the head or neck, the upper arm, or the upper part of the chest.

Blocks of the stellate ganglion are indicated for the following conditions:

  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Causalgia
  • Herpes zoster
  • Phantom limb pain

The actual injection takes only a few minutes. It involves inserting a needle through the skin and deeper tissues. Most patients receive intravenous sedation and pain medication to make the procedure easy to tolerate. After the injection, you may feel warmth in the arm, some hoarseness of the voice, a droopy eyelid, a larger pupil, or nasal congestion.

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Last modified: 07/27/08