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Celiac Plexus Block Injection

The celiac (solar) plexus is a group of nerve fibers coming from the pancreas, stomach, liver and part of the bowels that surround the aorta, the main artery in the abdomen. It is in the center of the abdomen, underneath the diaphragm. A number of different conditions can lead to solar plexus pain. They can range from physical conditions to emotional. Caliber Pain™ offers celiac plexus block injections for relief at our clinic in Midtown Manhattan.

If your pain is persistent and not addressed by conservative remedies, your doctor may recommend a celiac plexus block. This is an injection of pain medication in the form of an anesthetic and neurolytic. It can relieve severe abdominal pain by blocking and disabling the nerves. In addition, conservative remedies can be used, including:

  • Alternating heat and cold compress
  • Bland diet
  • Antacids
  • Rest from stressful activity
  • Breathing exercises

When the celiac plexus block is administered, the nerve fibers are injected with numbing medicine to interrupt them and help relieve abdominal pain. Concentrated alcohol is combined with the numbing medication to destroy the nerve fibers.

What to Expect

After your initial visit, you will get two appointments. The first is for a diagnostic block, and the latter is for a neurolytic, long-term celiac plexus block.

For the diagnostic block, we will only use local anesthetic. This will show if the block relieves a high percentage of your pain. If this block helps, we then will schedule the longer lasting neurolytic celiac plexus block.

For the neurolytic celiac plexus block, we use concentrated alcohol with some numbing medicine. In addition to pain relief from the anesthetic, the alcohol will destroy the damaged nerve fibers. These destroyed nerve fibers will no longer be able to transmit pain signals.

Caliber Pain™ performs this procedure on an outpatient basis in a treatment room equipped with either ultrasound guidance or fluoroscopic x-ray technology.

  • In the pre-procedure area, the nurse or doctor will place an IV line. This is used for fluids and sedation if needed.
  • When you get to the procedure room, you will be connected to monitoring equipment (EKG monitor, blood pressure cuff, and blood oxygen monitoring device).
  • You will be positioned comfortably.
  • The injection site is cleansed with an antiseptic soap after which our doctor will inject numbing medicine that causes a slight burning sensation for a few seconds.
  • Contrast dye is injected to confirm that medication is administered in the correct space.
  • Injection of pain medication, such as epinephrine, clonidine or a steroid for pain; alcohol or phenol to destroy the nerves.
  • You will be monitored for 20-30 minutes in the recovery room.
  • You will be given verbal and written discharge instructions.
  • If you have had sedation you must be accompanied by a responsible adult, 18 or over, to drive you home or ride with you in a taxi.

Usually, the procedure takes less than 30 minutes, and you can go home the same day.

If you suffer from abdominal pain and want to learn more about celiac plexus block injections, contact us at Caliber Pain™ in NYC to schedule an appointment.

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Caliber Pain™

635 Madison Avenue 14th Floor
New York, NY 10022

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