Sphenopalatine Ganglion Nerve Block (SPG)

What is a sphenopalatine ganglion nerve block?

The sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) nerve block is a procedure that is effective in the treatment of patients with intractable migraines. The procedure can deliver anesthetic directly to the SPG in a minimally invasive, safer, and more tolerable way.

How is the sphenopalatine ganglion nerve block performed?

The SPG nerve bundle, located deep within the nasal cavity, is part of the trigeminal nerve system, which is the major player in the pathogenesis of migraine headaches. The method involves administering a flexible catheter that delivers a local anesthetic to a thin membrane overlying the SPG, sequentially into both nostrils. The patient lies with his/her head tilted back for five minutes as the anesthetic rapidly absorbs across the membrane to block the SPG nerve bundle which results in migraine pain relief.

How quickly can relief occur?

The duration of pain relief varies by patient; many experience immediate relief and others sustained relief. The treatment plan involves adjusting a patient’s daily prophylactic or as-needed medication regimens.