A Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is an injection of a local anesthetic in the neck to block the sympathetic ganglia, a structure of the sympathetic nervous system responsible for alerting the body of an impending danger. The system involves thousands of nerve cells along the spinal cord that send messages throughout the body in response to stress. This hyper-arousal leads to physical changes, including a sudden release of cortisol, adrenaline and an acceleration of the heart function, designed to the body fend off a perceived attack.
PTSD, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood. Some survivors of traumatic events return to normal in little time. However, others have stressed reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD.
Reliving or re-experiencing the trauma through nightmares and flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, feeling detached, and these symptoms can be severe enough to disrupt the person's life.
Stellate ganglion block is a quick, minimally invasive procedure that can effectively treat a broad variety of conditions.
The most significant benefit of sympathetic nerve blockade is the rapid relief of symptoms afforded to many patients with chronic SNS-related pain. Other significant benefits include improvement of circulation and modulation of temperature fluctuations in patients with SNS-related conditions. Most patients who respond to nerve blocks regain the ability to resume their normal daily activities and report a higher quality of life.
Stellate ganglion blockade has been shown to be a low risk procedure. One reason for this is that stellate ganglion blockade is a minimally invasive treatment. Less invasive therapies carry lower rates of complications than more aggressive, riskier treatments such as open surgery, which carries a higher risk of infection and other serious complications.