The goal of the Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block is to reduce pain felt in the lower abdomen or pelvis area. This may be due to cancer pain (bladder, prostate, ovarian etc) or chronic pelvic pain.
Learn about the causes, diagnoses and treatment of chronic pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis.
What is the Superior Hypogastric Plexus:
Many of our nerve blocks involve the same thing – Medicine used to numb the nerves transferring pain signals to the brain from the effected area. A plexus is a collection of nerves. In this case, the superior hypogastric plexus rests in the front of the lower part of the spine and has the nerves running through it that tell about pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis regions.
These nerves also effect areas like the bladder, prostate, lower intestines, uterus, etc. So you can see how this plexus is a great place to start for relieving subsequent pain from such cancers.
This type of nerve block is used both to diagnose the originating area of pain as well as provide therapeutic pain relief.
During the Procedure:
The injection site is in your back, so you will lie on your stomach. Using guidance machines, Dr. Henriquez will pinpoint the specific nerve for the medicine. If you are receiving the SHPB for diagnoses, then an anesthetic type medicine will be used. If you find that you experience pain relief from this, then the diagnoses was correct. For treatment, Dr. Henriquez may wish to use a steroid to bring long lasting pain relief.
After the Procedure:
The entire procedure will take only 20-30 minutes and can be completed in our office. You’ll be monitored after the injection before you can head home. You’ll need to rest and cannot drive the remainder of the day, however, you should be able to drink and eat normally.
The injection site may be sore or tender for a little while. Most patients experience pain relief quickly which lasts a few hours up to a few weeks or longer depending on what medicine was used.