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help! hypogastric plexus block?

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  • help! hypogastric plexus block?

    hello everyone!
    i have been seeing a pain med. specialist for 5yrs now. i have been on the same meds. and have not had an increase in 4yrs. now all of a sudden they are insisting that i must be scheduled for this procedure (hypogastric plexus block) i have searched the internet and i can't seem to find out anything on this procedure. i prefer to be my own patient advocate, as well as wanting to know exactly what is to be done to my body it atleast makes me feel as though i have a say in my treatments. i find it allows me to be informed and more in control of my ic, rather than the ic controlling me..........i just had a niece who had a nerve block done and she was in agony! the doctor hit a nerve and she started bleeding from uretha, rectum, and vagina.. he admitted his mistake and swore this had never happened to him before. this also is adding to my fear. because the procedure by name makes me think that it might have somthing to do with the rectum hhhhmmmmmmm. i also suffer from rectal prolapse. i had the repair done over a year ago and 4mths later it prolapsed again. it was the absolute worst surgery i have ever had and i will not go through that again. as long as i can push it back up after a bowel movement i will live with it. so if someone out thier has had this procedure (hypogastric plexus) please try to help me get informed. so that on my next visit when they will insist again i will atleast have some amo to plead my case, weigh the odds, and make an informative decision. certainly my history of my prolapse should be in my records, so i hope this is'nt something they have over looked. i could tell how preturbed the nurse practitioner was when i told her no way until i have had a chance to research it. she stormed out and made sure that my next appt. will be with the doctor. i almost feel as though i am being summoned to the principal's office for a lecture.
    i feel as though my meds. are fine, i certainly did not want an incrase . i know the procedures is how he makes his money because the np's see the patients and he does nothing but procedures.

    so please !!!!someone help me to get to the bottom of this............
    your ic buddy!

    Angel R. Miller
    In times of need, if you are feeling sad, you can count on me. i will give you a wink , until you smile , give you a hug :GROUPHUG:, and stand by your side. i'll be there for you till the end, I'll always and forever, BE YOUR FRIEND!

  • #2
    I wish I could relay a good experiance about having 2 of these, but unfortunately, I cant. Like you, I go to a Pain Dr. and like you, I always see the NP instead of the Dr, as he is generally busy doing nerve blocks at the brand new surgery center he owns that adjoins the Pain clinic. When, I first became a patient there and saw the construction of this multi-million dollar facility, I was nervous because any Dr. that builds a facility that expensive, plans on paying for it by doing a lot of procedures. I even made a remark that day to mother to that effect.

    Sure enough, as soon as it was completed (4 mo later), at my next visit, he made his first appearance in my exam room since our inital visit, and this time, he was touting the miracles of nerve blocks and how they would really help me. He had a high pressure "sales pitch" and there was no saying no to it.

    He scheduled of them for me, 2 weeks apart. I went into severe urinary retention after both of them, and each time, he insisted that he had never heard of that happening before, and swore that it must be "some IC related thing that was just a coincidence" and wanted me to do more of them. However, when I saw my DR, who treats my IC and told him about what happened, he said it was very common for IC patients to go into retention afterwards, even patients like me that never had retention as part of their IC. He told me to absolutely NOT do anymore. I told him that I didnt think the pain Dr. would let me out of it that easily, since he made $1400 on each of them for 10 min work, as oppossed to "only" making $150 for 10 min during an office visit. (And during the office visits, I never see him, just his NP! All he does is sign my scripts.) So, my Dr. faxed him a letter saying that he advised me to not have any more nerve blocks, as they were worsening my condition and the retention put me at an increased risk of infection, which could cause me permenant damage, since I also have Lupus.

    Even after my Dr. sent the fax, the Pain Dr. STILL pressured me to do more nerve blocks! But, I refused and held my ground.

    To be fair, I have heard of some ICers who have been helped by nerve blocks, and they actually had a remission from their pain anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. You could have results like theirs. You just never know! So dont go just on my experiance!

    I hope that if you try them, they work out for you. And I hope that if they dont, you will have an easier time getting out of doing them than I did! Hopefully, others here will weigh in with their experiances and opinions.

    Wishing you luck!



    • #3
      I have had multiple hypogastric plexus blocks. At first, the pain relief was great, lasting about 2 weeks. I had a series of 3 blocks 2 weeks apart, and I finally actually had some symptom-free days. The procedure itself is kinda wierd. She used a needle through my lower back and had to "feel around" for the right nerve to block in the plexus. Mine were all done under fluoroscopy so she could see what she was doing. A few times she would hit a nerve and I would have pain down my leg or into my hip or into my bladder, and she would just reposition the needle. After 2 or 3, it didn't bother me a bit!

      My pain doctor is the best, she is the only doctor in a small practice of her own, she sits down with me to talk about stuff, she gives a lot of personal attention. I had been going to another doc who was supposed to be the greatest, but the traffic in his office was so great, I always just saw the NP, and all they ever did was send me out with more scripts. Constipation? Try this. More pain? Try more morphine. I was so glad to find my new doctor.

      Try the block - it has helped me a lot. But you won't get the best results from just one - you need a series of blocks. Sometimes it takes a few weeks or days to feel the results. I think it is completely worth a try.


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      Effexor XR 150 mg daily
      Methadone 5 mg bid
      Klonopin 1 mg PRN