Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block

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Chronic headaches and migraines can be debilitating. A sphenopalatine ganglion block is an effective treatment used for migraines, headaches, and other facial pains. You are a
good candidate for sphenopalatine ganglion block at one of our offices in NYC or NJ if your symptoms do not respond to other treatments. The multidisciplinary headache specialists at Advanced Headache Center will work with you closely, from consultation to treatment, to improve your quality of life and make sure you achieve pain relief.

What is Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block?

The Sphenopalatine Ganglion is a collection of nerves behind the nose that is often responsible for chronic headaches and head pain. This Ganglion is linked to the trigeminal nerve, the main nerve involved in a headache, migraine, or facial pain.

The Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block is frequently used to treat migraines, cluster headaches, and facial pain. This is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed in our outpatient center. The procedure is painless and takes about 20 minutes to be performed under fluoroscopy to confirm the precise delivery of medications.

Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block

How is Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block Performed?

Administering sphenopalatine ganglion block injections takes several steps, including:

  • Your doctor may provide a decongestant before starting treatment to help reduce irritation in your nose.
  • The specialist may check your temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate and numb your nose by having you inhale or apply a local numbing medication.
  • After that, you will be asked to lie on your back with your head extended. The doctor will insert a soft, specially designed catheter into your nostril and reach the Sphenopalatine Ganglion comfortably.
  • Then, local anesthetics (or numbing medications) will be applied to block the Sphenopalatine Ganglion, disrupting nerve signals that cause headaches.
  • The procedure takes between 10 and 20 seconds to complete and is then repeated in the opposite nostril.

The time it takes for the medication to take effect might range from 15 minutes to several hours. You might be asked to lie down for around 15 minutes after the procedure so that your blood pressure can be checked.

What Are The Potential Side Effects of Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block?

The most frequent side effects of sphenopalatine ganglion blocks include:

  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Throat numbness.

These all shouldn’t linger for longer than several hours. It is best to refrain from eating or drinking anything during this period to reduce the chance of choking. There is also a slight risk of nasal hemorrhage or infection. Always inform your doctor if you have a bleeding nose or if the discomfort after the procedure worsens with time.

How Long Does a Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block Last?

The amount of time during which individuals receive pain relief varies widely. Some patients don’t feel any improvement at all, while others do for days, weeks, or even months. Your doctor can perform multiple procedures if needed.

If you are looking for significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life and are interested to learn more about Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks we offer, reach one of our facilities throughout NYC or NJ. We specialize in minimally invasive therapy for chronic headaches and are happy to provide long-lasting relief. Call the Advanced Headache Center at 646-362-5282 and request more information.

Updated on Sep 12, 2023 by Dr. Amr Hosny (Headache Specialist) of Advanced Headache Center

Amr Hosny, MD, MBA, AQH

Dr. Hosny is an Ivy League Trained, UCNS-accredited, board-certified headache specialist who offers the latest preventive and abortive treatments to provide safe and effective head pain relief. As an active member of prominent organizations and professional societies that advance headache science, education, and management, such as the National Headache Foundation, Dr. Hosney specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide range of head pain disorders, including tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches, to name a few.

Dr. Hosny's reputation for enhancing headache care quality through the use of the most effective and technologically advanced treatment options for persistent primary and secondary chronic headaches has been acknowledged by Castle Connolly and Healthgrades, where he has received over 200 positive reviews. Dr. Hosny is also recognized as a distinguished New York City physician and headache specialist by New York Magazine.

More about Dr. Hosny
Advanced Headache Center 41 5th Avenue,
New York, NY 10003
(646) 763-2222