Celiac Plexus Block for Relief from Chronic Abdominal Pain
The celiac plexus block is a nerve block procedure aimed at managing and relieving pain in the abdomen, typically as a result of cancer or pancreatitis.
Similar to other nerve block procedures, the celiac plexus block can be used as a therapeutic as well as a diagnostic tool. As a diagnostic procedure, anesthetic is used to numb the plexus nerves which come from the stomach, liver, pancreas and bowels; if the numbing eliminates the patient’s pain then a diagnosis can be made. If used as a therapeutic treatment, alcohol or other medications are used to destroy the targeted nerve fibers. In both cases, the physician utilizes X-ray guidance to insert a needle into the plexus nerve bundle below the diaphragm and perform the required task.
This is a non-surgical office procedure which takes approximately one hour to perform. Although some discomfort from the procedure may linger for several days, most patients can expect immediate relief from symptoms. Because nerve fibers regenerate, the celiac plexus block may need to be performed more than once.
Pain specialists at Columbia Pain & Spine Institute are experienced with all types of nerve block procedures and can provide in-depth information about your condition and your pain relief options.