Ganglion Impar Block, Preparation, Sideeffects Mansfield TX
A ganglion impar is a cluster of nerves located at the front of the sacrum. The sacrum is at the lower part of the spine just above the tailbone.
A ganglion impar is part of the sympathetic nervous system responsible for involuntary muscle functions in the body.
The nerves that send pain signals from the lower pelvis and groin to the brain pass through the ganglion impar before getting to the brain.
A ganglion impar block is a procedure whereby the nerves that send pain signals from the lower part of the spine to the brain are blocked or numbed with a local anesthetic. The procedure helps to alleviate pain at the lower spine area.
Who needs a ganglion impar block?
If you feel chronic pain at your lower spine such as pain at the lower part of your rectum, the lower part of your urethra, vagina, vulva, anal region, tailbone, scrotum, or around your testicles, you may require a ganglion impar block.
Pain can be caused by damage or dysfunction to the organs in the area you feel the pain.
If you have rectal or anal cancer, bladder cancer, vaginal or vulvar cancer, rectal pain or scrotal cancer, you may need a ganglion impar block to ease the pain.
A ganglion impar block may not be your first treatment option for pain. You may need a ganglion impar block when you have used other treatment options to alleviate the pain but didn’t yield any pain relief.
Preparation for a ganglion impar block
Before undergoing a ganglion impar block, you first need to talk with your doctor or health care provider. Your doctor will review your medical history, age and any health problems you may have.
If you have a bleeding problem, you may not be eligible to undergo the procedure. If you have an infection at the area where the injection will be given, you may not be eligible for the procedure.
If you have any allergies or infections unknown to your doctor, inform your doctor about them.
If you are on a blood-thinning medication, you may be required to stop using them for some days before the procedure.
If you are diabetic or you are currently on any medications, whether prescription drugs or OTC medications, inform your doctor.
If you are pregnant and your doctor does not know about it, make sure to inform him or her.
You may be required not to eat or drink anything after midnight of the day of the procedure.
Come along to the clinic with someone that will drive you back home after the injection.
How is a ganglion impar block done?
At the commencement of the procedure, you will be asked to lie down on your stomach on a procedure table.
You may be sedated to keep you relaxed and to reduce the pain you will feel throughout the procedure. However, you will most likely remain awake so that you can give feedback to your doctor.
Your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level will be closely monitored.
The skin area where the injection will be given will be cleaned with antiseptic. A numbing agent will be applied to the area to numb the skin so you don’t feel pain.
Your doctor will then insert a needle into the skin and direct it towards your tailbone in between your buttocks.
With the aid of an x-ray or CT imaging guidance, your doctor will direct the needle until it gets to the ganglion impar area.
A small amount of contrast dye is added to the area so that your doctor can see the area more clearly. This enables him or her to know if the needle is in the exact right position.
The medication which may include local anesthetic and steroids will be injected into the area. Medications to damage the nerves and permanently stop the nerves from sending pain signals may also be injected.
After the medication has been injected, you may feel a warm burning sensation in the area. You may also feel immediate pain relief.
The injection spot may be covered by a small bandage.
After the injection
After being given the injection, you will be observed for about 30 to 60 minutes. You will be given specific instructions to follow.
You may be allowed to go back home after a few hours. Some else will have to drive you back home due to the aftereffect of the medication used.
You are not allowed to engage in very strenuous activities. However, you can continue with your normal daily activities.
If you are on any medication, ask your doctor if you can continue taking them.
You might feel pain relief that will last for days, weeks or months depending on the medication that was used.
Complications or side effects of Ganglion impar block
Ganglion impar block is generally a safe procedure. However, some side effects or rare complications might occur which include:
- Allergic reactions
- Flushing on your face
- Temporary increase in blood sugar level
- Damage to nearby organs
- Changes in bowel function
- Weakness or numbness of the legs
- No pain relief