The celiac plexus is a small bundle of nerves located in the upper abdomen anterior to the aorta. The celiac plexus senses pain that can arise from the stomach, pancreas, or other surrounding tissues. When diseases that cause chronic pain, such as cancer or chronic pancreatitis, do not respond to other medications or treatments, a celiac plexus block can be performed to help relieve symptoms.
Celiac Plexus Block Procedure
After being evaluated by nursing staff, you will lie in a CT scanner. Under CT guidance and under sedation, a needle will be slowly advanced to the celiac plexus, and contrast will be injected to ensure the appropriate position of the needle. If the procedure is being performed for diagnostic purposes, an anesthetic with or without steroids will be injected. If the procedure is being performed for treatment/neurolysis purposes, then alcohol is injected for ablation.
What are the Steps taken for Post-Procedure Care?
Following the procedure, you will be discharged on the same day if you are having this performed as an outpatient. Patients can slowly resume normal activities as tolerated the day after the procedure.
What are the Associated Risks and Complications?
Risks of the procedure may include bleeding, infection, injury to the aorta or other tissues, or incomplete relief of pain. Additional risks of the procedure will be discussed by the performing radiologist and nursing staff prior to the procedure.