Celiac Plexus Block

A celiac plexus block can help relieve abdominal pain due to such diseases as chronic pancreatitis or cancer.


If you suffer from chronic abdominal pain which has failed to respond to pain medication and other therapies, you may benefit from a celiac plexus block. A celiac plexus block is especially beneficial for those with abdominal pain linked to pancreatic cancer or other types of abdominal cancers. It tends to work better if the procedure is done earlier in your illness, rather than later. Celiac plexus blocks are minimally invasive, and can effectively relieve your severe pain, allowing you to resume your regular activities.

What You Need to Know About Celiac Plexus Blocks

When you arrive for your celiac plexus block, you will lie on your stomach on a table, then a local anesthetic will numb an area of skin on your back. Guided by an x-ray, a thin needle will be inserted next to your spine, injecting an anesthetic. A second needle will be inserted on the other side of your spine, and a pain medication (steroid, clonidine or epinephrine) will be injected. 

The procedure generally takes no more than half an hour, and you are allowed to go home the same day. Some people report pain relief that lasts for years following a celiac plexus block, while for others, the relief may only last for several weeks or months. For most, a series of celiac plexus blocks will be necessary to keep the pain at bay—some may only need two or three injections, while others may need more.

Are There Risks Associated with Celiac Plexus Blocks?

Immediately following your celiac plexus block, you may feel warmth in your abdominal area, however your pain should begin to lessen. Some people report feeling numbness or weakness in their abdominal wall or leg, however once the anesthetic wears off, these symptoms generally disappear.

It is recommended that you forego any rigorous activities and have someone else drive you for at least 24 hours after the procedure. Risks associated with celiac plexus blocks are low, other than soreness at the site of injection. However, some people who have received a celiac plexus block have experienced infection, nerve damage, excessive bleeding, a collapsed lung, low blood pressure, and diarrhea, although these side effects are extremely rare.

If you have been unable to get any type of pain relief for your abdominal pain, the pain management specialists at Seattle Pain can help. Our goal is to help you live a pain-free life, and we accomplish that through traditional and non-traditional treatments. If none of these treatments have helped relieve your pain, we may suggest a celiac plexus block.

Are you suffering from severe abdominal pain?

Contact Our Pain Management Specialists

At Seattle Pain, we can relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. We believe in treating the whole patient – and not just the illness or injury.  You do not have to live in pain. Call us today at 253-944-1289 or complete a contact form today.

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