Trigeminal ganglion block

What is it:

The trigeminal nerve is the nerve that supplies feeling and movement in the face. The ganglion are the surrounding nerve cells.

Purpose:

A block is used when the trigeminal nerve causes extreme pain and muscle spasms in the face when the pain occurs from:
  • Trigeminal neuralgial
  • Cluster headache
  • Cancer related pain
  • Atypical facial pain

How is it Done:

You will be asked to lie on your back on the x-ray table. The side of the face where the pain is felt is cleaned with a special solution called betadine. Next, a local anesthesia of lidocaine will be given to numb the area. Once the area is numb a needle is inserted through the skin, which is directed under x-ray until it reaches the trigeminal ganglion. A local anesthetic and steroid will then be injected after making sure that the needle is not in a blood vessel or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
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