FAG’s on Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block

The SPG block is a low risk nonsurgical treatment for patients suffering from acute and chronic facial and head pain. The sphenopalatine ganglion is a triangular shaped superficially located parasympathetic ganglion. It is housed with a collection of nerves that are located in a bony cavity deep in the mid-face.

While not involved directly with feeling or movement, it supplies the lacrimal gland, glands of the nasal cavity, mucous membranes and glands the hard palate and gingiva.

Pain can radiate from this area if a nerve in that area has been synthesized by trauma, had complications by infection, or other causes leading to sympathetic activity that result in pain symptoms being relayed to the brain. Blocking the activity by anesthetizing the SPG may decrease or eliminate the pain signals, therefore stopping sympathetic symptoms.

What can be gained with a SPG block?

  • To diagnose the origin of pain presented in the facial region
  • Decrease sympathetically facial pain
  • Decrease the pain of chronic headaches
  • CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)and RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)

What conditions are best treated with SPG block?

Head and neck cancer

  • acute and cluster headaches
  • herpes zoster
  • What happens with a SPG procedure?

To reduce pain, medicine is injected directly into the region of the ganglion by administering a SPG block, to reduce the release of Norepinephrine chemicals that activate the pain sensitive nerves (thereby decreasing pain signals from this area).

How is the Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block procedure performed?

There are many approaches a doctor can take to perform an SPG block. The 3 most common methods are the trans-nasal, transoral, or lateral pathways. But basically after a thorough inspection to avoid any landmarks that may be present (polyps, tumors, or a deviated septum), while the patient is sedated, the physician will use an X-ray for guidance of a fine needle (fluoroscopy) to confirm identify the correct location to inject anesthetic medicine near the SPG. Although Pain Relief may be felt gradually, the patient will not feel numbness in the area or the face. A successful SPG procedure is marked by profound relief of painful symptoms.

How long does the SPG block what conditions Take?

Usually a SPG block takes between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on IV sedation, the type of technique used, and the patient’s responsiveness to the objection.

What risk or side effects are associated with SPG block?

The SPG block is considered a low-risk procedure. The most common complaint is a bitter taste in the patient’s mouth from the local anesthetic that can drip down the patient’s oropharynx. The back of the patient’s throat may also develop a slight numbness from the anesthesia that may migrate or dripped there. A patient can also develop a nosebleed if the surgeon has abraded or irritated the area…

The side effects of anesthesia or lightheadedness that generally dissipates within an hour after the procedure is performed. The patient may experience an allergic effect of the medicine, as with any medication there may be common reactions of the patient to anesthesia. The patient should alert the medical team if they have a medical history of complications with anesthesia being administered.

How successful is the SPG block in the relief of pain?

In many studies researchers have found that the SPG blog is offered relief to 95% of patients for periods up to 20 months on average. When the pain is secondary to conditions such as fibromyalgia or myofascial syndromes, the SPG block may not be as effective. The Pain Relief benefits can vary from patient to patient, some may not have a duration as long as others with their elimination of symptoms.