Frequently Asked Questions
A Celiac Plexus Block is performed for the diagnosis and treatment of abdominal pain, often due to Cancer and pancreatitis. Often, the block is first performed with a local anesthetic which temporarily “blocks” the plexus. When the local anesthetic wears off, it is likely that the pain will return, although in some people, even temporarily blocking the pain sensations can result in sustained relief. If you achieve good temporary relief with the local anesthetic block, the injection can and may be repeated using a different drug (alcohol or phenol) which will damage the nerve plexus, thus blocking the nerves for a long time. This is called a neurolytic (nerve destruction) block.
The block will take about 30-45 minutes to be performed. An IV is first placed in your arm. You will be placed face down (prone) on the fluoroscopy (X-ray) table. Your back will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution and then numbed with a local anesthetic. The doctor will use X-ray to help guide the placement of the needle(s). Dye will be injected first to assure correct placement of the needle(s). Then, the local anesthetic will be injected and the needle(s) removed. Next, you will be taken to the recovery area where your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored. A Band-Aid may be applied to the injection site
You may experience diarrhea, & lower blood pressure temporarily. Therefore you will be monitored approximately 1 hour after the procedure. The nurse will review your discharge instructions with you before going home. Temporary back pain from the needle is common