FAQs on Hypogastric Nerve Block in Colorado
The hypogastric nerve block is used to treat chronic pelvic pain and pain associated with malignancy of the pelvic region. This is a minimally-invasive procedure that is performed right in the doctor’s office.
What are the hypogastric plexus nerves?
The cluster of sympathetic nerves that innervate the pelvic cavity, urethra, uterus, perineum, vagina, vulva, testes, rectum, and descending colon are called the hypogastric plexus. The hypogastric plexus nerves are a bundle of nerves that are located at the bottom of the spinal cord. Blockage of these nerves can alleviate pelvic pain.
What conditions are treated using the hypogastric plexus nerve block?
The hypogastric plexus nerve block is used to treat:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Malignancy pain
- Interstitial cystitis
- Radiation injury
- Refractory penile pain
- Genitourinary cancer
- Anal injury pain
- Testicular cancer pain
What happens before the hypogastric plexus nerve block?
Before the nerve block procedure, the doctor meets with you to evaluate your condition. The doctor evaluates your condition, takes a medical history, and performs a physical examination. The doctor will inquire about medications, as some agents that thin the blood are to be held for several days before the appointment. You cannot eat/drink for six hours before the procedure, as a sedative will be given. Because you cannot drive after the block, arrange to have someone drive you home.
How is the hypogastric plexus block done?
When you are taken to the procedure room, you are positioned face-down on the table. The nurse gives you an IV sedative to relax you, and cleans the skin over the back region. The doctor will numb the deeper tissues with an anesthetic agent. Using a monitor and x-ray guidance, the doctor will insert two needles near each hip bone. After dye is instilled to verify the correct sports, the anesthetic, steroid agent, and/or neurolytic agent is injected. The total procedure takes around 30 minutes. Once the needles are removed, a small bandage is applied to each injection site.
What can I expect after the hypogastric plexus block procedure?
The pelvic region will feel full and warm. You may notice immediate relief of pelvic pain. Over the next few days, pain relief improves, as the steroidal agent begins to work. We recommend you rest for 1-2 days, avoid rigorous activities, and do not drive for 24 hours. The lower back region will be slightly tender for 12-48 hours, so use an ice pack to relieve the pain.
What are the benefits of the hypogastric plexus block?
The benefits of the procedure include:
- It is a minimally-invasive procedure.
- Long-term pain relief can be achieved.
- The procedure is safe and effective.
Does the hypogastric plexus block work?
A study involving 50 patients with severe pelvic pain secondary to malignancy was conducted recently. The patients were divided into two groups: Group 1 taking oral morphine and Group 2 having a hypogastric plexus nerve block. The researchers found that the pain scores in Group 2 were significantly decreased and patients had improved functional capacity. They concluded that the block was effective for severe pain of the pelvic cavity.
Mishra S, Bhatnaga S, Rana SPS, et al. (2013). Efficacy of the Anterior Ultrasound-Guided Superior Hypogastric Plexus Neurolysis in Pelvic Cancer Pain in Advanced Gynecological Cancer Patients. Pain Medicine, 14(6), 837-842.