Stellate Ganglion Blocks are used to treat headaches, recurring facial pain, complex regional pain syndrome, some types of cancer pain, and sympathetically mediated diseases, or for excessive sweating. The injections may be used as a diagnostic injection or in a series as therapeutic injections. The injection is always performed under x-ray fluoroscopic or ultrasound guidance, usually with local anesthesia given into the skin over the site of the injection. After skin preparation and placement of local anesthesia in the skin, a small needle is inserted at the base of the neck, and advanced to the C7 vertebrae. Injection of iodinated contrast (if done fluoroscopically) shows the needle tip is not in a blood vessel and therefore local anesthesia can safely be injected. Under ultrasound we can see the blood vessels to avoid them. Usually Lidocaine is injected and the local anesthetic will track down the sympathetic nerves to the stellate ganglion that lies just below. You will be sat up immediately after the needle is out. Onset of pain relief is nearly immediate if the sympathetic nervous system is carrying the painful signals through this ganglion. This procedure takes approximately 10 minutes to perform and are usually performed using a local anesthetic.