Splanchnic Nerve Block - Risks

Posted by georgeschiro @georgeschiro, Mar 18 3:12pm

I've been experiencing mild abdominal pain (tightness in my stomach – like cramps, general discomfort throughout) for many years now.

I had an endoscopy done 5 years ago and again a few months ago. The results are the same. The resulting images show apparent irritation of the stomach (ie. slight redness here and there), but no ulcers, no hint of anything cancerous, nothing. The biopsy was negative and there is no H. Pylori either.

Although dairy products have never seemed to cause me discomfort, I have learned that I am indeed somewhat lactose intolerant. Since taking lactase supplements recently, I have a normal stool again (rather than loose). The cramp-like discomfort I constantly feel happens whether I consume dairy products or not. In fact, eating sour cream actually soothes my stomach.

The general discomfort in my abdomen never goes away. I can't eat or drink much without making matters worse. I was wondering if a nerve block might help restore a feeling of joy in my life (at least occasionally).

I was hoping someone could tell me the possible downsides of a splanchnic nerve block treatment. What are the risks from your experience? Not knowing the underlying cause of my chronic pain, will I be taking too much of a chance by getting this procedure done one time and seeing if it helps?

According to Cleveland Clinic, "The risk of complication from a splanchnic nerve block is very low. However, there could be bruising or soreness at the injection site. Serious complications, including infection and bleeding, are uncommon."

Bottom line: what am I risking by having all feeling in my abdomen temporarily cut off? I am thinking, perhaps naively, that when I was young "not feeling anything there" was normal.

I was hoping to have that feeling again.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Chronic Pain Support Group.

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