For patients suffering from abdominal cancers or pancreatitis a celiac plexus block may be performed as a diagnostic tool. In addition many patients will feel relief immediately after the procedure. A simple injection is given to block the abdominal nerves, while at the same time an IV may be used to relax the patient.
Two needles will be inserted into the celiac plexus nerve after a local injection is given to reduce sensation and pain at the site. An X-ray or CT scan will be used to help the physician guide the needles into the proper position. A dye may be used to confirm the needles are correctly placed.
The physician will then inject an anesthetic around the nerves to block pain signals from communicating with the brain. The first injection may be a test to see if pain is relieved. If so then a permanent block may be given. The doctor will finally remove the needles. And the patient may experience immediate pain relief.