If you are dealing with chronic pelvic pain, you may benefit from a superior hypogastric plexus block. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia offers several types of nerve blocks to offer significant pain relief for men and women in Brunswick and Kingsland, GA.
What is a Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block?
The hypogastric plexus block is a nerve block that relieves pelvic pain by injecting medications to relieve pain and destroy nerves. This procedure specifically targets pelvic pain that comes from the testicles or prostate, ovaries or uterus, lower intestines, colon, bladder, or other pelvic areas. It can be used to treat a variety of painful pelvic disorders by injecting medication into the superior hypogastric plexus, a bundle of nerves located in front of the spine in front of the L5 vertebra.
A superior hypogastric plexus block uses local anesthetic to numb the nerves as well as phenol or alcohol to destroy the nerves when more conventional methods have failed to relieve pain.
What Does a Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block Treat?
This type of nerve block is used to treat many types of chronic pelvic pain. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia may recommend a hypogastric plexus block for:
- Pelvic cancer
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Radiation injury
- Interstitial cystitis
For some of the procedures, a superior hypogastric plexus block may be the first and best course of action to deliver significant pain relief. A superior hypogastric plexus block for interstitial cystitis, for example, can treat the chronic pelvic pain of this condition—also known as painful bladder syndrome—in many stages of the disorder but especially when the pain becomes very severe.
How is a Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block Performed?
This procedure is performed as you lie in a prone position with pillows under your lower abdomen. A fluoroscope is used to produce real-time x-ray images of the L5-S1 disk space, and you will be given a mild sedative by IV to help you feel calm.
After the treatment area is cleansed and a numbing medication is injected, your physician will carefully guide a needle to the superior hypogastric plexus using the fluoroscopy. Local anesthetic will be injected to make the area numb and your physician will confirm if you feel numbness in your legs. In many cases, phenol or alcohol is also injected to destroy the nerves responsible for your pain.
How Long Do Results Last from a Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block?
When alcohol is used to kill the nerves, you will gradually feel significant pain relief as the nerves die back. If steroid medication is used instead for inflammation, you will feel longer-term pain relief within a few days as the steroid works. The relief may last for weeks or even years. Additional hypogastric plexus block procedures can be performed if your pain returns.
If you believe you may benefit from a superior hypogastric plexus block in Brunswick or Kingsland, Georgia, contact us at the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia to schedule your appointment and learn more.