Pain Management Exam Prep

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What is a Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) Block?

The sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) block is a nerve bundle located behind the nose. This nerve bundle is involved in headache disorders and can cause face and head pain. 

An SPG block is a quick procedure to numb the nerves which may be causing your pain. MIC offers SPG blocks to help treat:

  • Chronic and episodic migraines.
  • Cluster headaches.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia and neuritis.
  • Post traumatic facial pain.

Tension headaches are not responsive to SPG blocks.

During the procedure, our radiologist will use a device and direct fluoroscopic guidance to deliver Lidocaine to the sphenopalatine ganglion. Pain relief may last for weeks, months, or years and varies from patient to patient.

Your healthcare practitioner will receive a report from the radiologist, usually within 24 hours.

Is there a cost?

Yes. Patients will be charged $138.00 for the device, which is available from MIC at cost. 

You may be able to claim this cost through your extended health benefits plan.

What to expect

MIC’s central booking team will go over any special instructions with you. Your appointment will take about one hour.

Our technologist will position you on the exam table so you are comfortable, and the radiologist can access your nasal cavity. The technologist will place a temperature monitoring strip on each cheek.

Using a swab, the radiologist will place topical freezing inside your nasal cavity to numb the area.

The radiologist will then use image-guidance to insert a device into your nasal cavity. A small amount of x-ray dye will be injected to ensure the device is in the right position followed by an injection of Lidocaine.

Most patients do not notice anything during the injection. However, you may feel some pressure in the area.

After the procedure, you will continue to lie on the table for ten minutes before we let you go.

You must arrange for someone to drive you home. We recommend you rest for the remainder of the day.