Hypogastric Plexus Block

What is a hypogastric plexus block

The hypogastric plexus is located near the lower abdomen and blocking these collection of nerves is designed to bring relief to patients who suffer from pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis, including pain from the bladder, lower intestines, the uterus and ovaries in females and the prostate and testicles in males. The hypogastric block usually involves a series of several injections, often repeated at weekly intervals. This treatment has brought relief to many patients who suffer from pain located in the pelvic structures, to include pain located in the region of the bladder, lower intestines, as well as the uterus, ovaries and in women, and the prostate and testicles in men.

How quickly can I expect pain relief?

Hypogastric plexus blocks can often provide pain relief within the first 15-20 minutes after the injection of local anesthetic. Depending upon the medication used in the injection, pain relief can last anywhere between several hours and potentially days to months after the injection. The duration of pain relief is variable and it differs from patient to patient.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

Although the hypogastric plexus block has risks like any other procedure, it is a overall very safe.
There are certain instructions that you will have to follow to prepare for this procedure. Please do not eat or drink anything for (8) eight hours prior to the procedure as you will be offered intravenous sedation for your comfort. Because you will be receiving sedation, please also have a responsible adult designated driver to take you home

What happens during the procedure?

After an IV line is placed and monitors are applied, you will begin to receive intravenous medication for your comfort. You will lay down on your stomach and your physician will then use X-ray guidance to help facilitate accurate needle placement under sterile conditions. The medication will then be delivered at the appropriate site. You will then be taken to the recovery room where you will be monitored further until discharge. The procedure itself takes about 15-20 minutes. Occasionally, patients describe a short lived pelvic pain/pressure during administration of medication, which is a signal that the medication is being deposited in the precise location. The pressure sensation should disappear shortly after the injection is complete.

What happens afterwards?

After the hypogastric plexus block is performed, you will be continuously monitored in the recovery room until you are safe and ready for discharge. If you have any questions or issues after discharge, you can always reach a medical staff member by calling us.

What should I expect from this procedure?

In terms of pain relief, the hypogastric plexus block should provide several hours of pain relief. This is due to the local anesthetic medicine that is injected around the nerves. If steroid is also injected, longer term pain relief may be expected as well, although there may be lag time between the time the local anesthetic wears off and the steroid takes effect.

What possible side effects might I see?

With the hypogastric plexus block, the most common complication is that you may have soreness at the site where the needle was placed after the procedure. This is self limited and subsides with time. There is a very small chance of a needle puncturing a blood vessel, which could potentially lead to clot formation in your pelvis. There is also a rare chance that an injury to the kidney or ureters could be injured as well. These risks are minimized, however, because the procedure is performed under precise x-ray guidance.

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