Celiac Plexus Neurolysis

Reasons to perform the procedure:
The celiac plexus is a group of nerves that supply organs in the abdomen. A celiac plexus neurolysis may be performed if you are experiencing severe chronic abdominal pain from cancer or persistent pain associated with chronic pancreatitis that is not relieved by medications or other conservative measures. It is expected that the neurolysis will provide long-term relief (3 months or so) of your pain.
Before the procedure:
You will be informed where and when to report for the procedure. You will be asked not to eat or drink after midnight the night before. You will be examined by your doctor and asked to rate your pain. You will be asked to not take your long acting pain medication the morning of the procedure, but you can take you short acting medication.
Description of the Procedure:
Your consent will be obtained, and an intravenous (IV) catheter will be placed in your arm. You will lie on your stomach for the procedure. The nurse will give you IV fluids before the procedure. Your back will be cleaned with antiseptic ad numbed with medication. Under x-ray guidance or CT scan, needles will be inserted through the skin and local anesthetic (numbing medication) and then ethanol will be injected to neurolyse (destroy) the celiac plexus.
After the Procedure:
You will be asked to rate your pain. You will go to the recovery room to be monitored. Your IV will be discontinued, and you will be discharged home.
Potential Complications:

  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Infection
  • Pain during the procedure
  • Failure to relieve the pain
  • Collapsed lung
  • Bloody urine
  • Low blood pressure
  • Paralysis (rare)
  • Low blood pressure

You will be given a pain diary to help you keep track of your pain. You will receive further instructions from your doctor.