FAQ’s on Ganglion Impar Block
The Ganglion Impar Block in a common procedure performed to reduce symptoms of chronic pelvic or rectal pain by directly blocking a signal of pain to the brain. The ganglion impar block is one of the few options that can help with coccydynia (tailbone pain), as well as metastasized cancers.
What is the Ganglion Impar?
The ganglion impar is situated one to three centimeters in front of the tip of the coccyx. There is a lot of variation in patients as to the exact location, which probably explains why the nerve block may not work great in some.
The ganglion is a collection of nerve cells, and receives pain sensations from the distal rectum and urethra, perineum, vulva, anus, and distal third of the vagina. Because there are so manf structures “connected” to the ganglion, a Ganglion Impar block may help with a lot of conditions causing pain in the perineal region.
The original treatment was first implemented in 1990. With innovative technological advances in research focusing on the increase in the patients comfort level and an overall effectiveness of the Ganglion impar block, it has become a well-established treatment. The most successful method of performing a Ganglion impar block is called the transsacrococcygeal approach.
When is a Ganglion Impar Block used?
To treat many back pain symptoms, visceral, or sympathetic neuropathic Chronic Perineal Pain (CPP), a recommended effective treatment is a ganglion impar block.
If the patient’s localized perineal pain is not secondary to another condition, such as a UTI, STD, or an inflamed prostate, they are a good candidate for the minimally invasive Ganglion impar block. As the ganglion impar innervates adjacent structures, the block is beneficial for a variety of symptoms stemming from various organs, including the perineum, distal urethra, vulva, rectum, and anus.
Symptoms include persistent pain that may be in combination with a dull throbbing, localized, or burning heat sensations that may radiate outwards, pain when defecating, and a difficulty in sitting long periods of time. By administering a nerve block on the ganglion impar the pain signals are blocked traveling to the brain, reducing symptoms in the patient.
Relief can be received for those with vulvar pain, rectal cancer, coccydynia, sacral postherpetic neuralgia and more.
Are there any risks with a Ganglion Impar Block?
Depending upon anatomical location of the ganglion impar, there is a small risk of the procedure being ineffective. Location may warrant a different approach such as a transcoccygeal joint or paramedial technique.
Size and shape of the ganglion impar can vary from patient to patient, and may have an effect on a complete success with eliminating all pain symptoms the patient is experiencing. After the procedure has been performed the physician will wait for about 30 minutes, and then release the patient.
Significant pain relief should be immediate and can last from weeks to years. Many patients find all pain has been eliminated, and find the procedure preferable to other surgical options due to its effectiveness with acute and chronic pain.
What patients should not have a Ganglion Impar Block?
Patients with an active infection being treated with antibiotics, viral flus, fevers, hypertension or high blood pressure, or that have taken analgesics or blood thinners within a week prior to the procedure would be at high risk and should not have the procedure performed.
Are there any side effects or dangers with a Ganglion Impar Block?
There are no significant side effects or risks with the conventional procedure of a ganglion impar block. Infection at the site, allergic reaction to the medications, bleeding, or nerve injury could be complications in rare cases.
There is generally some numbness around the nerve from the injection of local anesthetic, but that will fade. There may be increased pain or pressure around the site injection, and diabetics may experience a short-term elevation in their blood sugar as a result of the steroid.
Are there any restrictions after the procedure?
Swimming, long showers, or long soaks in a tub or Jacuzzi should be avoided or 2 to 3 days after the procedure. It is recommended that you not drive for the remainder of the day, but normal activities may be resumed.
The Board Certified pain management doctors at Colorado Pain are experts at ganglion impar block procedures. For those who have pain in the perineum and tailbone region, the procedure is an excellent, low risk option.
Most insurance is accepted at all three locations. Call (720) 306-9575 today!