Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block

 

About The Treatment

The sphenopalatine ganglion is a bundle of nerves that is located in the midface behind the nasal passages, and, if damaged or traumatized, can cause severe pain in the face and head. Recent research has highlighted the ability of alleviating headache and facial pain through a minimally invasive procedure known as a sphenopalatine ganglion block.

At Desert Pain Specialists, our pain management specialists treat many patients who suffer from debilitating migraine headache. Migraines are different than a common headache that we all may get from time to time; they are painful headache episodes that can last anywhere from hours to days, and are accompanied by symptoms including nausea, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and sound. Management of migraines is complex, but with the use of sphenopalatine ganglion blocks, the pain providers at Desert Pain Specialists are bringing hope to migraine sufferers.

Chronic facial pain is also often difficult to treat because the face is a delicate area to work with, but those who suffer from facial pain are usually extremely debilitated. Recent studies have also shown that facial pain patients may find relief following this minimally invasive procedure.

A sphenopalatine ganglion block is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed in an outpatient setting. Your Desert Pain Specialists provider will do a thorough evaluation and choose the best approach to anesthetize the sphenopalatine ganglion, options include the transnasal, transoral, and lateral approach. By anesthetizing the nerve bundles within the sphenopalatine ganglion, pain sensation transmission is essentially blocked, thereby helping to reduce pain. Patients may be sedated prior to the procedure depending on the approach that is used.

 

After The Treatment

A sphenopalatine ganglion block is a relatively quick procedure that offers patients rapid pain relief. Patients usually report pain relief between 15 and 30 minutes after the procedure. Patients are monitored for adverse reactions after the procedure is finished.

The risks associated with a sphenopalatine ganglion block are very low. The most common side effect is the development of a bitter taste in the mouth following the procedure. Other potential side effects include nose bleed, lightheadedness, allergic reaction, seizure, and infection.
At Desert Pain Specialists, our pain management team has seen great success for patients with migraines and facial pain following a sphenopalatine ganglion blocks with patients reporting less pain and better function and quality of life.