A sympathetic nerve block is a
relatively safe procedure. You can usually go home afterward and return to your normal
activities after a day of rest. If you had IV sedation, you’ll need to have someone
drive you home.
Side effects after a sympathetic
nerve block may include temporary soreness, bleeding, bruising, a feeling of warmth, or
some weakness. If you’ve received a nerve block in the stellate ganglion, you may
experience some temporary voice changes, eyelid droop, or difficulty swallowing. Until
swallowing is back to normal, avoid large bites of food and sip liquids carefully.
Depending on the reason for the
block, physical therapy, talk therapy, and pain medicine may all be part of your
treatment as well. In most cases, you will be given a series of blocks to get the best
Sympathetic nerve blocks don’t work
for everyone. Also, the pain relief they give may lessen over time. But for some, a
sympathetic nerve block may provide weeks or months of pain relief.