The ganglion impar block is one important medical procedure that can greatly ease intractable pelvic pain and rectal pain. Though it does have diagnostic uses, this procedure is also used as a definitive treatment for severe pain cases. Effected through a simple chemical injection, this procedure blocks the nerve cluster (or ganglion) directly related to pelvic pain.
By monitoring the patients’ response to the ganglion impar block, pain management specialists gain valuable diagnostic information. If the patient’s pain level isn’t affected, the pain isn’t related to the ganglion impar structure. If the pain disappears only to reappear a few hours later, diagnosis is hastened while providing the patient with much-needed relief. In best-case scenarios, a ganglion impar block can lead to the permanent reduction or elimination of pain symptoms. Whatever the outcome, the ganglion impar block is a tool with proven effectiveness.
The ganglion impar block is a fairly straightforward and simple surgical procedure. The procedure is not appropriate for people with active infections or who are taking antibiotics. Patients should also cease taking all blood-thinning medication several days before the block procedure under the direction of their physician. Although the ganglion impar block is a proven and common procedure, it is associated with certain risks to the patient. Like most medical procedures, the ganglion block can cause bleeding, infection and even nerve damage. Some patients may have allergic reactions to the chemicals injected in the block procedure. Fortunately, the risk of experiencing serious side effects is fairly low.
The ganglion impar block is performed with the patient facing down on a surgical table. After the patient’s back is cleaned and sterilized, the doctor uses a small needle to anesthetize the block needle insertion area. After numbness is achieved, the doctor follows up with the main block needle. At this point, X-ray technology is used to carefully position the block needle in the spinal region. Finally, a local anesthetic and steroid is injected to block the action of the ganglion impar nerve cluster. For maximal safety, patients shouldn’t drive, swim or submerge in water for the remainder of the day. After the ganglion impar block is complete, the patient may feel immediate relief. However, positive effects can accrue in the following days. If the ganglion block does not lead to adequate results, a doctor can follow up with a sympathectomy. Related to the ganglion block, this more invasive procedure involves the outright removal of a ganglion or nerve center.