What is a Celiac Plexus Block?

Celiac plexus blocks are injections of pain medication that help relieve abdominal pain, commonly due to cancer or chronic pancreatitis.

The celiac plexus is a bundle of nerves that surrounds the aorta, the main artery into your abdomen. Blocking these nerves from carrying pain information can help you stop feeling pain in your abdomen.


  • What is the Celiac Plexus Block Treatment Like?

    First, you’ll be given an intravenous medication to relax you. Then, you’ll lie on your stomach on an x-ray table.

    The doctor will numb an area of skin on your back with a local anesthetic. Then, guided by an x-ray, he or she will:

    • Insert a thin needle into your back, next to your spine, and inject anesthetic
    • Insert a second needle on the other side of your spine
    • Inject dye to confirm that medication will go to the correct spot
    • Inject pain medication, such as epinephrine, clonidine or steroid; alcohol or phenol also may be injected to destroy the nerves


    Usually, the procedure takes less than 30 minutes, and you can go home the same day.

  • What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Celiac Plexus Block?

    After your celiac plexus block treatment, you will notice immediate pain relief due to the local anesthetic that is injected. This will wear off in a few hours, and pain may return briefly. The steroid medication will take effect within a few days, soothing inflammation and blocking nerve signals so that you can enjoy long-lasting pain relief. The results from your occipital nerve block can last between several weeks and several months. The exact duration of these results will vary, so we will help you determine the kind of results that you can expect during your initial visit.

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