Frequently Asked Questions on Ganglion Impar Block
What is a ganglion impar block?
When a patient suffers from rectal pain or chronic pelvic pain, Chicago pain doctors usually block the pain signal from the brain, a common procedure known as Ganglion Impar Block. This type of procedure is also performed on patients that suffer from cancer (metastasized) or tailbone pain. The ganglion impar nerve is situated behind the tailbone (coccyx).
Since the nineties, when the original treatment was used for the first time, research and technological progress has made it possible for the treatment to evolve, and provide an increase in efficiency and comfort of the Ganglion Impar Block. As of today, the most effective method of performing such a procedure is known as the transsacrococcygeal approach.
When should I consider having a ganglion impar block?
The ganglion impar block is most often used when doctors have to treat symptoms associated with back pain or chronic perennial pain, either visceral or sympathetic neuropathic. The procedure can be applied especially on patients that suffer of local perineal pain that is not secondary to other conditions such as prostate inflammation or a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Studies have shown that blocking the ganglion impar can be beneficial for other symptoms related to medical conditions associated with several organs such as the anus, urethra, perineum, vulva or rectum. Such symptoms may include pain associated with a burning heat sensation, difficulty in sitting, or severe pain while defecating. But pain is just a signal produced by the brain as a response to a discomforting situation, and a nerve block will stop the signal to reach the brain, this way reducing the patient’s symptoms.
What should I expect after the procedure takes place?
The procedure method used (trans-coccygeal joint or paramedical technique) and result of a ganglion impar block depend will depend on the location of the ganglion impar in the body, its size and shape. Since this varies from patient to patient, the result varies as well. A needle is used to reach the ganglion. It can be passed from underneath the coccyx or may be passed directly through the actual sacrum/coccyx joint.
Once the procedure is performed, the patient needs to rest for half an hour in the recovery room before being released to go home. If the procedure is successful, then the patient will experience an immediate pain relief, that will last anywhere from a month to couple of years. There are many encouraging testimonials where patients show their appreciation and encourage others to choose a ganglion impar block due to its effectiveness in fighting chronic pain.
Is there anything else I need to know?
When considering such a procedure, it is important to know that if you are currently taking any antibiotics, analgesics, blood thinners, blood pressure medication, viral flus or anything similar to the above, or have been administered anything similar seven days prior to the ganglion impar block, it is advisable that you do not go ahead with the procedure, since it’s very risky.
If you follow your pain management doctor in Chicago’s recommendations, the ganglion impar block should not have any considerable side effects. In some rare situations, patients were allergic to the administered medication, or experienced bleeding or even an infection at the site, but again, this were isolated cases.
In general, due to the local anesthetic that was injected, most patients experience a slight numbness and/or pressure around the nerve, but this fades away after couple of hours. On the day the procedure took place, it’s recommended that you do not drive and for the next two days please avoid swimming or taking long showers.