Ilioinguinal & Genitofemoral Nerve Blocks
Colorado Nerve Blocks & Pain Management
The Ilioinguinal and genitofemoral nerve blocks are used to alleviate pain
in the lower abdomen and pelvic region. At Colorado Clinic, we perform
a minimally invasive nerve block procedure using evidence-based practices.
We be with you through every step of your treatment to ensure you are
living the quality, pain-free life you deserve.
What are the ilioinguinal and genitofemoral nerves?
The iliohypogastric (IH), ilioinguinal (IL), and genitofemoral (GF) nerves
arise from the first lumbar nerve on each side of the body. The IL nerve
is smaller than the IH nerve, and both run together as a pair. Along with
the GF nerves, these nerves are at risk for being injured during lower
abdominal surgery. These surgeries include appendectomy, inguinal herniorrhaphy,
C-section, Pfannenstiel incision, and laparoscopic surgery.
What conditions are treated using the ilioinguinal or genitofemoral nerve blocks?
Conditions treated with these blocks include:
- Post-surgical neuropathy and groin pain
- Scrotal/testicle pain
- Labia majora pain
- Medial thigh pain
- Chronic hip, groin, and/or pelvic pain
How does the ilioinguinal/genitofemoral nerve block work?
Both sets of these nerves are located close together, so both blocks are
usually performed at the same time. The doctor uses some type of live
x-ray (fluoroscopy or ultrasound) to guide the procedure needle and ensure
accuracy. After you are positioned on your back, the abdomen and thigh
are cleaned with an antiseptic. The physician guides the procedure needle
near the targeted nerve. A local anesthetic, or other substance, is administered
near the nerve. After the needle is removed, a bandage is applied to the
How do I prepare for the GF or IL nerve block procedure?
Before you are scheduled for a nerve block, you first meet with the pain
management specialist for an evaluation. The doctor will assess your condition,
ask questions about your pain levels, and take some additional imaging
scans. Once you agree to the block, the doctor will conduct a physical
examination and inquire about your current medications. Because bleeding
is a risk, you must hold all agents that thin the blood for a few days
before your procedure. Arrange to be off from work for a few days, and
have someone who can drive you home from the medical center.
Does the ilioinguinal nerve block work?
In a study evaluating outcomes for the ilioinguinal and iliohypogastric
nerve blocks, 43 patients were assessed using standardized pain questionnaires.
In the study, 88% of patients reported no neuropathic pain or significant
reduction in pain. Researchers found these blocks to be effective for
treating chronic inguinal pain following groin surgery.
What medications are used during the block?
Depending on your surgeon’s choice, and your personal condition,
medications used include:
Antimicrobial cleanser – Includes Betadine, alcohol, and other agents.
Anesthetic – Bupivacaine or lidocaine.
Corticosteroid agent – Triamcinolone, methylprednisolone, or dexamethasone.
Neurolytic agent – Phenol or absolute alcohol.
Sedative – Versed or Valium.
How will I feel after the IL or GF nerve block procedure?
You will be monitored in the recovery room for around 60 minutes after
your nerve block procedure. Because a sedative is given, you may feel
dizzy, drowsy, or have a dry mouth. Expect some mild soreness at the needle
insertion site. Your lower abdomen and pelvic region may feel odd, warm,
or different. This is a side effect, which goes away in a few hours.