Hypogastric Nerve Blocks in Colorado
Proven Treatment for Pelvic Pain
The hypogastric nerve block is a safe, minimally-invasive procedure that
is performed right in the doctor’s office. This treatment is typically
used to treat pelvic pain. At Colorado Clinic, our trusted pain management
experts can assess your condition and tell you more about the treatment
What are the hypogastric plexus nerves?
The cluster of sympathetic nerves that innervate the pelvic cavity, urethra,
uterus, perineum, vagina, vulva, testes, rectum, and descending colon
are called the hypogastric plexus. The hypogastric plexus nerves are a
bundle of nerves that are located at the bottom of the spinal cord. Blockage
of these nerves can alleviate pelvic pain.
What conditions are treated using the hypogastric plexus nerve block?
The hypogastric plexus nerve block is used to treat:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Malignancy pain
- Interstitial cystitis
- Radiation injury
- Refractory penile pain
- Genitourinary cancer
- Anal injury pain
- Testicular cancer pain
What happens before the hypogastric plexus nerve block?
Before the nerve block procedure, the doctor meets with you to evaluate
your condition. The doctor evaluates your condition, takes a medical history,
and performs a physical examination. The doctor will inquire about medications,
as some agents that thin the blood are to be held for several days before
the appointment. You cannot eat/drink for six hours before the procedure,
as a sedative will be given. Because you cannot drive after the block,
arrange to have someone drive you home.
How is the hypogastric plexus block done?
When you are taken to the procedure room, you are positioned face-down
on the table. The nurse gives you an IV sedative to relax you, and cleans
the skin over the back region. The doctor will numb the deeper tissues
with an anesthetic agent. Using a monitor and x-ray guidance, the doctor
will insert two needles near each hip bone. After dye is instilled to
verify the correct spots, the anesthetic, steroid agent, and/or neurolytic
agent is injected. The total procedure takes around 30 minutes. Once the
needles are removed, a small bandage is applied to each injection site.
What can I expect after the hypogastric plexus block procedure?
The pelvic region will feel full and warm. You may notice immediate relief
of pelvic pain. Over the next few days, pain relief improves, as the steroidal
agent begins to work. We recommend you rest for 1-2 days, avoid rigorous
activities, and do not drive for 24 hours. The lower back region will
be slightly tender for 12-48 hours, so use an ice pack to relieve the pain.
What are the benefits of the hypogastric plexus block?
The benefits of the procedure include:
- It is a minimally-invasive procedure.
- Long-term pain relief can be achieved.
- The procedure is safe and effective.
Does the hypogastric plexus block work?
A study involving 50 patients with severe pelvic pain was recently conducted.
The patients were divided into two groups: Group 1 taking oral morphine
and Group 2 having a hypogastric plexus nerve block. The researchers found
that the pain scores in Group 2 were significantly decreased and patients
had improved functional capacity. They concluded that the block was effective
for severe pain of the pelvic cavity.