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Splanchnic Nerve Block

Splanchnic Nerve Block: A Targeted Approach to Managing Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain can be a debilitating condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide, significantly impacting their quality of life. For those suffering from chronic abdominal pain due to conditions like pancreatitis or cancer, the splanchnic nerve block is a potential solution. This advanced, minimally invasive procedure is one of the many available options for treating chronic pain that our team of experienced physicians uses to help our patients reclaim their quality of life.

Understanding the Splanchnic Nerve Block

The splanchnic nerve block is a procedure designed to alleviate chronic abdominal pain by targeting the splanchnic nerves, which transmit pain signals from the abdominal organs to the brain. By administering a local anesthetic near these nerves, pain signals can be effectively blocked, providing significant pain relief. This procedure is especially beneficial for patients whose pain has not responded to standard treatments, offering a minimally invasive alternative to more extensive surgical interventions.

The Splanchnic Nerve Block Procedure

The splanchnic nerve block is performed with the utmost precision and care, following these general steps:

  • Pre-procedural Evaluation: Patients undergo a thorough assessment to ensure they are suitable candidates for the splanchnic nerve block, including a review of their medical history and pain characteristics.
  • Procedure Details: Typically conducted under fluoroscopic (X-ray) guidance to ensure accuracy, the SNB procedure involves the patient lying on their stomach. After local anesthesia is applied to numb the area, a needle is guided to the targeted splanchnic nerves, where the anesthetic is injected.
  • Post-procedure Care: Patients are monitored for a short period before being discharged. Most can resume their normal activities within a day, with detailed aftercare instructions provided to ensure optimal recovery.

Conditions Treated with Splanchnic Nerve Block

The splanchnic nerve block is primarily used to treat chronic abdominal pain associated with conditions such as:

  • Chronic pancreatitis: Persistent inflammation of the pancreas that leads to severe abdominal pain.
  • Cancer: Abdominal pain resulting from cancer or its treatments, particularly in cases involving pancreatic, stomach, or liver cancers.
  • Other Abdominal Conditions: Various other conditions causing chronic abdominal pain that have not responded to conventional pain management strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a Candidate for a Splanchnic Nerve Block?

Ideal candidates are individuals with chronic abdominal pain, particularly due to pancreatitis or abdominal cancers, who have not found relief from other pain management methods.

How Safe is the Splanchnic Nerve Block?

Chronic abdominal pain can often be treated with the Splanchnic Nerve Block procedure

The splanchnic nerve block is generally regarded as a safe procedure with minimal risks. Potential complications are rare but can include bleeding, infection, or temporary soreness at the injection site.

What is the Expected Outcome?

Many patients experience significant pain relief following the procedure, with effects lasting for several months. The procedure can be repeated if necessary, and in some cases, it leads to a decrease in the need for pain medication.

Is the SNB Procedure Covered by Insurance?

Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, cover the splanchnic nerve block for qualifying conditions. Total Spine and Orthopedics can assist patients in navigating insurance coverage.

If you're suffering from chronic abdominal pain, we can help. Our team of highly skilled pain management physicians utilize advanced procedures to eliminate chronic pain and many other symptoms Contact us today by filling out the form on this page or calling us at (321) 499-4646 and a member of our patient advocate team will help you get out of pain and back to living life!

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