Celiac Plexus Block

Celiac plexus block is a treatment for the pain of pancreatic disease.  Pain is the major symptom in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis. Often this pain is treated with pain medicines. Pancreatic pain is transmitted through a network of nerves called the celiac plexus. This network is located around the aorta (the large artery in the abdomen) and the celiac artery. This pain can be treated by placing numbing medicine (local anesthetics) with or without steroids directly on the celiac plexus. Permanent destruction of these nerves may be available for pain relief in patients with advanced stage pancreatic cancer. In the procedure, usually delivered by a physician with special training in pain treatment, patients lie face down on the procedure table. Sedation is given intravenously to help with relaxation. The back is cleaned then injected with numbing medicine. A needle is then placed through the back next to the celiac plexus with the use of x-ray guidance. The medicine to block the nerve is then injected. The procedure only takes a few minutes plus a short recovery period. Patients should be accompanied by a driver.


Treating pain and freeing the body of its effects requires comprehensive medical management. The physicians and staff of the UAB Medicine Pain Treatment Clinic offer the latest in pain management techniques, backed by the innovation, knowledge, and research of one of the country’s largest academic medical centers.

We recognize that relief from pain is just the first step in longer-term treatment. The multidisciplinary team combines clinical care with image-guided interventions, physical therapy, psychological assistance, medication, and ongoing consults with your primary care physicians.

At our clinic, the needs of each patient are addressed in an individualized manner, and the treatment program is carefully tailored to provide the best possible outcome. We are located at convenient UAB Hospital-Highlands, where access is easy and parking is free.


Related Conditions

This procedure may be used to treat or diagnose several different conditions. We have listed some of these conditions below for your convenience. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and may vary depending on your specific diagnosis.


UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for Celiac Plexus Block. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information on clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov.

View Clinical Trials