The hypogastric plexus block is a procedure intended to provide relief for patients suffering from chronic acute pelvic pain and pain related to pelvic cancer. It has also shown to be effective for treatment of severe penile pain after transurethral resection of the prostate.
In some cases, hypogastric plexus block treatments have been used with success in reducing chronic pain sufferers’ opioid pain reliever consumption.
What is treated by a superior hypogastric plexus block?
Superior hypogastric plexus block is a procedure used to provide relief from chronic and acute pain stemming from an underlying medical condition. The superior hypogastric plexus contains nerves that affect the regions of the, testes, penis, prostate, perineum, descending colon, rectum, vulva vagina, uterus, urethra, and bladder, so any condition of chronic pain in these areas are effectively treated with this procedure.
This is often used in patients who are unable to use oral pain relievers due to side effects or allergies and pain stemming from radiation injury, endometriosis, and cancers that metastasize to the pelvis.
How is a superior hypogastric plexus block procedure performed?
The superior hypogastric plexus block procedure is typically performed with the patient lying face down to allow the attending physician access the plexus through the L5 and S1 vertebrae. The area is numbed with topical anesthetics and then a local anesthetic is injected into the area to be treated. A contrast dye is then injected into the area to act as a guide for the medication.
The San Antonio pain management doctor will utilize a machine called a fluoroscope to ensure proper placement of the needle. The injection is intended to be either for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, depending on the results felt by the patient. The process usually takes from fifteen to twenty minutes for the physician to perform, after which there will be an observation period to check for adverse reactions to the medications used.
How effective is a superior hypogastric plexus block in relieving pain?
The effectiveness of the superior hypogastric plexus block may vary from person to person, but overall, the success rate is fairly high. For some patients, the benefit may last a short time, only several days to a few weeks. Other patients may experience relief for months at a time, even as long as a year.
Due to the procedure’s low risk and high benefit potential, it often helps reduce the amount of narcotic pain medication a patient must take. The superior hypogastric plexus block has also shown to be quite effective when used with other nerve block procedures to provide an expanded benefit of pain relief.
The overall success rate for the plexus blocks is about 70%. The average amount of pain reduction is 50%, with 40% of patients needing less narcotic medications as a result.
What are the risks of a superior hypogastric plexus block?
There are some risks but they are very limited, mild and typically rare. There are almost no serious side effects or complications. The most common possible side effects or complications include localized bleeding at the injection site, bruising, and infection.
More serious but rare ones include nerve damage, paralysis, punctured vessels or organs, allergic reaction to the drugs used in the procedure, and seizures.
When possible benefits are weighed against living with daily chronic and severe pain, the low risk of the possibility of a severe side effect is typically overlooked by the patient.
If you or a loved one would like to learn more about how a Hypogastric Plexus Block can help your pelvic pain in San Antonio, contact Texas Pain Network today. All types of cutting edge procedures are offered, with success rates exceeding 90% for patients.
Call (210) 202-4030 for more information and scheduling!