Celiac Plexus Block Treatments

A Celiac Plexus Block is a medical procedure designed to lessen chronic pain in the abdominal region, particularly from conditions such as pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis. The procedure involves the injection of a local anesthetic, and sometimes a neurolytic agent, into or around the celiac plexus, a network of nerves near the aorta that serve the abdominal organs. This injection serves to block the transmission of pain signals from the abdomen to the brain, providing the patient with relief.

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Celiac Plexus Block Treated Conditions

  • Upper Abdominal Cancers: Upper abdominal cancers, such as pancreatic cancer and stomach cancer, often lead to severe and chronic pain. This pain occurs due to the pressure and invasion of the cancerous cells on the nerves, specifically the celiac plexus which serves the abdominal region. By performing a Celiac Plexus Block, the pain signals from the affected area are inhibited, providing considerable relief to patients. 
  • Crohn’s Disease: This is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that can cause severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition. In some cases where conventional treatments are not successful, a Celiac Plexus Block may be considered to manage the abdominal pain associated with Crohn’s disease. 
  • IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease): Similar to Crohn’s disease, other forms of IBD such as ulcerative colitis can cause chronic abdominal pain. If other treatments are unsuccessful or if a patient is unable to tolerate them, a Celiac Plexus Block can be used to help manage this pain. 
  • Chronic Abdominal and Back Pain: Certain conditions can lead to chronic pain in the abdomen and back. These might include chronic pancreatitis, gallstones, or post-surgery complications. In these cases, if other treatments fail to provide sufficient pain relief, a Celiac Plexus Block can be performed. By blocking the nerve signals in the celiac plexus, this procedure can significantly alleviate the chronic pain experienced by the patient. 

Why Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers?

At Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers, we distinguish ourselves as the optimal choice for a Celiac Plexus Block procedure through our exceptional expertise, cutting-edge technology, and commitment to individualized care. Our team of board-certified physicians have vast experience in performing the procedure with precision. Each treatment plan is tailored to a patient’s unique needs, emphasizing comfort and safety under sterile conditions. Beyond the procedure, we provide comprehensive pain management services aimed at improving the overall quality of life of our patients. By choosing Lonseth, you entrust your care to professionals committed to alleviating your pain and enhancing your wellbeing.

Celiac Plexus Block FAQ

A Celiac Plexus Block is performed in a series of steps under the supervision of a medical professional specializing in pain management. Here’s a simplified overview of the process: 

  • Preparation: The patient is typically positioned on their stomach on an X-ray table. Vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure are monitored throughout the procedure. 
  • Anesthesia: The area on the back where the needle will be inserted is cleaned and sterilized. A local anesthetic is then applied to numb the skin and the underlying tissue. 
  • Needle Insertion: Using a live X-ray technique called fluoroscopy for guidance, the physician inserts a thin needle through the back towards the celiac plexus, a network of nerves near the aorta that transmit pain signals from the abdomen. 
  • Confirmation of Placement: A contrast dye is often injected to ensure the needle is correctly placed. The dye shows up on the fluoroscopic image, allowing the physician to visualize the spread of medication. 
  • Injection of Blocking Agents: Once the correct placement of the needle is confirmed, the blocking medication, usually a local anesthetic and sometimes a neurolytic agent, is injected into the celiac plexus. This interrupts the transmission of pain signals from the abdomen to the brain. 
  • Recovery: Following the procedure, the patient is moved to a recovery area for monitoring. Some temporary numbness or weakness may be experienced. Pain relief may be immediate for some patients, while for others, it may take a bit of time. 

The onset of pain relief from a Celiac Plexus Block can vary greatly between individuals. Some patients may experience immediate pain relief following the procedure, while others might notice an improvement over the course of a few days. 

The duration of the pain relief also varies. In some cases, relief may last for a few weeks, while in others, it could last several months. The duration is often dependent on the specific underlying condition causing the pain, the individual’s response to the treatment, and whether the procedure was diagnostic or therapeutic in nature. 

It’s also worth noting that some patients might require more than one Celiac Plexus Block procedure to achieve sustained relief from chronic abdominal pain. As with any medical procedure, it’s important for patients to have a thorough discussion with their healthcare provider to understand what to expect based on their specific medical condition and history. 

Yes, there are certain preparations that patients are typically required to make before undergoing a Celiac Plexus Block. These may include: 

  • Fasting: Patients are often required to fast (no food or drink) for at least six hours before the procedure. This is to minimize the risk of aspiration during the procedure. 
  • Medications: Certain medications, especially blood thinners, may need to be temporarily discontinued prior to the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding. Your doctor will provide specific instructions based on the medications you take. 
  • Arranging a Ride Home: Due to the sedatives that may be used during the procedure, you will likely need someone to transport you home following the procedure. It is generally recommended not to drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the procedure. 
  • Health History: It’s important to provide your doctor with a complete health history, including any allergies, medical conditions, or concerns you may have. This information will help your doctor assess your suitability for the procedure and manage any potential risks. 

These are general guidelines, and the exact preparation can vary based on your specific medical condition and the practices of your healthcare provider. It’s crucial to follow your doctor’s specific instructions to ensure a safe and effective procedure.