The celiac plexus block is an injection of local anesthetic into or around the celiac plexus of nerves that surrounds the aorta, the main artery in the abdomen. These nerves normally control basic nerve functions, however in certain conditions these nerves can carry pain information from the abdominal organ tissues back to the spinal cord and brain.
The celiac plexus block is done as a part of the treatment of Chronic Pancreatitis and other types of Chronic Abdominal Pain. It is used to block the celiac plexus of nerves that go various organs and parts of the abdomen. The injection takes from 10 to 30 minutes.
There is some pain involved as the procedure involves inserting a needle through skin and deeper tissues. The skin and deeper tissues are numbed with a local anesthetic using a very thin needle before inserting the actual block needle. Most of the patients also receive intravenous sedation making the procedure easier to tolerate.