A stellate ganglion block is the injection of a small amount of local anesthetic and steroid near a group of nerves in the neck area. The stellate ganglion is made up of the fused portion of the seventh cervical and first thoracic sympathetic ganglia.
A stellate ganglion block may be performed if you are experiencing facial pain, neck pain, or arm pain as a result of the following: shingles affecting the trigeminal nerve or cervical and upper thoracic dermatomes; acute vascular insufficiency of the face and arms; chronic regional pain syndrome of the face, neck, arms, and upper thorax; Raynaud’s syndrome of the arms; phantom limb pain; and sympathetically mediated pain from cancer.
A Stellate Ganglion Block procedure usually takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. This Stellate Ganglion Block procedure does come with risks. Complications that can occur include but are not limited to local anesthetic toxicity, bruising, hematoma formation, injection of local anesthetic into the epidural, subdural, and subarachnoid spaces, total spinal anesthesia, pneumothorax, Horner’s syndrome causing drooping of the eyelid, block of the recurrent laryngeal nerve causing hoarseness and difficulty swallowing, infection, and reaction to the steroid medication.
A stellate ganglion block will NOT be performed if you have an active infection, fever, bleeding problems, allergy to the local anesthetic and steroid, and/or pregnancy.