FAQ’s on Superior Hypogastric Plexus Blocks
Patients with pain in their pelvis, prostate, bladder, intestines, uterus, or other surrounding pelvic tissues can potentially have relief provided through the use of a superior hypogastric plexus block.
The superior hypogastric plexus is a bundle of nerves located in the pelvis that provide feeling to the local tissue, directly influencing the surrounding tissues pain. By blocking these nerves, the transmission of pain signals to the brain will cease resulting in symptomatic relief.
What can a Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block treat?
Superior hypogastric plexus blocks are administered to provide relief to one or more pelvic regions that are causing pain, provided the source is tissue that has connections to the plexus. By blocking the superior hypogastric plexus, treatment can be given for nearly any affliction of the pelvis, including tissue in the intestines, uterus, bladder, prostate, or nonspecific pain related to cancer. The superior hypogastric plexus is also an effective tool for treating visceral pelvic pain.
A secondary benefit of superior hypogastric plexus blocks is they are especially effective for patients who are currently taking oral medication but not achieving the desired levels of pain relief. By blocking the nerves themselves, it is possible to completely negate the need for oral medication, but in many cases a superior hypogastric plexus block significantly lowers the amount of medication required to obtain adequate relief.
How is a Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block performed?
There are two reasons a superior hypogastric plexus block may be given to a patient: First as a diagnostic tool to confirm whether or not a therapeutic injection will have effect, and secondly as a therapeutic injection to provide pain relief. To administer a superior hypogastric plexus block, the Denver pain management doctor will require the patient to lie prone. IV sedation may be given.
The most common technique used during injection is the bilateral approach, which uses a needle on either side of the plexus as insurance that the entirety of the nerve bundle receives the anesthetic. Fluoroscopic imaging (a series of rapid X-rays that create an accurate picture of where the needle is located) will be used throughout the procedure to ensure accurate placement of the needles. Once properly placed, anesthetic will be injected into the plexus to numb it.
Patients receiving a diagnostic superior hypogastric plexus block will receive only a small amount of anesthetic to test the effects of the block. If the symptomatic pain reduces under the effects of the block, it is very likely that a full therapeutic block will provide substantial pain relief.
In the event that a diagnostic block does not provide even minor pain relief, it is still a useful diagnostic tool as it confirms that the superior hypogastric plexus is not the root source of pain, which assists the pain management doctor in Denver in narrowing down potential other causes.
Patients receiving a full therapeutic block will receive the full dosage of anesthetic during injection alongside a steroidal supplement to strengthen the duration and the effects of the anesthetic. Patients receiving an injection should be able to complete the procedure within an hour, with no recovery time required post-injection.
How well does a Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block work?
Patients receiving a superior hypogastric plexus block are very likely to be able to obtain relief, as over 70% of patients have a reduction in their levels of pain. Patients who do see a reduction typically have 50% or more of their pain reduced; with an average of 40% reduction in the amount of medication it takes it achieve relief.
While the duration of a superior hypogastric plexus block will vary on an individual basis, many patients will have one to many months of relief and may repeat the block as needed.
Colorado Pain offers all types of interventional procedures at several locations, including Denver pain management doctors who are Board Certified an highly skilled. Most insurance is accepted, call (720) 306-9575 today!