Hypogastric plexus blocks are injections that help relieve pelvic pain. This treatment has brought relief to many patients who suffer from pain located in the pelvic structures, to include pain located in the region of the bladder, lower intestines, as well as the uterus, ovaries and in women, and the prostate and testicles in men.The procedure also can help reduce pelvic pain from endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, radiation injury and cancer in the pelvis (cancer of uterus/womb, cervix etc).
The hypogastric plexus is a bundle of nerves near the bottom of your spinal cord. Blocking these nerves from carrying pain information can help you stop feeling pain in your pelvis. A hypogastric plexus block involves the administration of a dose of pain killing medication near the region of this nerve collection.
You will be placed in the prone position (on your stomach). The physicians will then use x-ray guidance to aid in appropriate placement of the needle. The medication will then be administered through needle near your hip bones on both sides.
A hypogastric plexus block may be right for you if you have chronic pelvic pain that does not respond to oral pain medication. These injections may give you more relief while taking less pain medication.
Superior hypogastric plexus block is a short, minimally invasive procedure that is effective at treating some chronic pelvic pain, especially if it’s secondary to malignancy. Published literature also highlights that significant pain relief can also be achieved if the pain is of nonmalignant origin and is coming from one of the various organs that sends its pain pathways to the superior hypogastric plexus.
Cancer patients with tumor extension into the pelvis may experience severe pain that is unresponsive to oral or i.v. opioids. Also, excessive sedation or other side effects may limit the acceptability and usefulness of oral opioid therapy. Therefore, a more invasive approach is needed to control pain and improve the quality of life of these patients.
Pelvic pain associated with cancer and chronic nonmalignant conditions may be alleviated by blocking the superior hypogastric plexus.
Thus, percutaneous neurolytic blocks or Radio frequency Ablation of the superior hypogastric plexus should be considered more often for patients with advanced stages of pelvic cancer.