Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block
What is a Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block?
There is a group of nerves located below the nose called the sphenopalatine ganglion. This ganglion is linked to the parasympathetic, sensory, and sympathetic nervous systems. All of these are senders and receivers of pain signals.
These pain signals can be blocked by a sphenopalatine block, and by doing this you can prevent and often times completely stop some forms of pain from occurring.
What does the procedure look like?
Covered by a layer of mucous membrane and connective tissues, the sphenopalatine ganglion can be accessed for treatment via topical application or through an injection of medication.
For the procedure, you will lie down on your back, extending your neck. Then you will open your nose, like you are taking in a deep breath of air through your nose.
Your doctor will look in your nostrils for any visible tumors or polyps, and to check for any septal deviation before beginning.
Your doctor will place a local anesthetic (lidocaine) into your nostril, and you will need to briskly inhale it to numb the area. This draws the local anesthesia to the back of your nose, which will lubricate and anesthetize it in the process, thus making the procedure more bearable.
Your doctor will insert a sterile cotton swab dipped in anesthetic, which they will then slowly progress along the wall of the inside of the nose. Once it reaches the nasopharynx (where you soft palate meets the upper area of the pharynx) they will stop progressing. The cotton swab is usually left resting in your nose for about 20 to 30 minutes.