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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 207-208

Stellate ganglion block for persistent idiopathic facial pain

Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Poonam Patel
102 Salvador Apartment, Fortaleza Complex, Kalyaninagar, Pune - 411 006, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-5333.198065

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Persistent idiopathic facial pain is a facial pain disorder without any identifiable cause. A patient has persistent facial pain without any objective sign on clinical examination or investigations. There are associated psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. This condition is poorly responsive to therapy with anticonvulsants or analgesics. Stellate ganglion block interrupts the sympathetic supply to head, neck, and upper extremities. This block can be used to alleviate pain of sympathetic origin in head and neck region as well as upper extremities. We report a case of a middle-aged female with persistent idiopathic facial pain on the right side of face with no response to analgesics and anticonvulsants. Her pain was provoked by exposure to cold weather or wind. Assuming a sympathetic component to her pain, we did a right-sided stellate ganglion block for her with local anesthetic and steroid. The patient had significant pain relief (>80%) after the block. This indicates that the sympathetic nervous system plays a major role in initiation and perpetuation of this pain condition. Stellate ganglion block can be done early in such patients both as a diagnostic and therapeutic modality.

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