Desert Ketamine Clinic offers sympathetic nerve blocks like the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) and the Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block (SPGB) that have been shown to help those suffering from PTSD and severe anxiety states. It may also help many with chronic pain issues of the head, neck, and upper extremity. These blocks act to break the cycle of sympathetic nerve stimulation that may underlie these conditions.
This block is administered in the office directly by Dr. Munk. It is performed in the supine position. A small sterile regional anesthesia needle is guided with ultrasound assistance to the Stellate Nerve Ganglion. This ganglion is found low on the side of the neck. A small amount of local anesthetic is administered in the region of the nerve. Following this injection, the patient is then allowed to rest comfortably in a quiet dark room to allow the local anesthetic to penetrate, and “turn off” the ganglion. The hope is that when these nerve cell bodies return from the effects of the local anesthetic in about 4-6 hours, they do so in a more calm, relaxed, state. This “reset” of the sympathetic nervous system can then potentially last for weeks, months, or even years. In our clinic, we have noted that approximately 25% of patients have a near immediate improvement in their symptoms. An additional 50% of patients note a significant improvement in symptoms over the next 24-48 hours. This results in overall success rates near 75% for the Stellate Ganglion Block procedure.
For patients who have noted improvement in their condition following this treatment, we recommend considering a repeat block 2 weeks to 2 months later. This second block seems to reinforce the positive effects seen with the first.
The link below is from a segment of the TV news show, 60 Minutes. It may help patients considering the block to better understand the procedure. Although much of the video speaks to PTSD in the veteran population, it is equally applicable to civilian PTSD and severe anxiety states.