What is a SGB? How does it work?

By placing a small amount of anesthetic in the Stellate Ganglion, pain in the head, neck, and upper extremities can be relieved. A block here disrupts the transmission of signals by the Sympathetic Nervous System, giving immediate pain relief.

Benefits from an SGB

A block administered here can treat pains associated with cancer, phantom limb pain, and a variety of syndromes and neuralgias. This minimally invasive procedure only takes a few minutes and can provide relief for months. If a block is successful it gives your physician valued information on the location of troubled nerves in your Sympathetic Nervous System.

When will I see results?

A successful diagnostic block initiates a warm feeling on the face and arms, and is accompanied by immediate but temporary pain relief. If pain is still present but a warm sensation occurs, the block is considered to be an invalid treatment option, but this information gives your doctor diagnostic direction for future treatment plans. A therapeutic block should yield positive results immediately and last several months.


This is an out-patient procedure and takes 15-20 minutes. Lying on your back, the area will be cleaned and local anesthetic injected to provide patient comfort. Your doctor will then use guidance equipment or feel for anatomical landmarks to find the appropriate injection site. Once the needle is in the correct position the medication is deposited, and pain relief should be immediate.

Risk Factors

There is a risk of complication with any medical procedure. Take time to discuss treatment options and any questions you may have with your physician, before agreeing with a procedure.