Celiac plexus block is an injection that can temporarily relieve some types of chronic abdominal pain. People with chronic pancreatitis or abdominal cancer may benefit from a celiac plexus block.
What does it involve?
Celiac plexus block is an outpatient procedure.
The celiac plexus is a collection of nerves near the aorta, the largest blood vessel in your abdomen. A celiac plexus block targets these nerves, preventing pain signals from your abdomen from reaching your brain.
Before receiving a celiac plexus block, you may receive sedating medication by intravenous (IV) infusion. Your back will be numbed with local anesthetic. Then the doctor will inject medication into the celiac plexus. Medications may include anesthetics, epinephrine, clonidine, or corticosteroids, or chemicals such as alcohol or phenol, which will destroy the nerves.
You can leave the office after receiving the celiac plexus block. You should rest that day, and you can resume normal activity the following day.
A successful celiac plexus block may provide weeks or years of pain relief.
A celiac plexus block may not be successful at reducing pain.
You may require a series of celiac plexus block injections before you experience pain relief.
Pain relief from a celiac plexus block is temporary.
Celiac plexus block is associated with risks including diarrhea, low blood pressure, or, rarely, collapsed lung, infection, or bleeding.