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Intercostal Blocks

Intercostal Nerve Block

Reasons to perform the procedure:

You may have an intercostal nerve block if you are experiencing chronic pain of the chest wall and upper abdomen.

Before the Procedure:    

You will be informed where and when to report for the procedure.  You may 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.

Description of the Procedure:

Your consent will be obtained, and an intravenous (IV) catheter will be place in your arm.  You will lie on your stomach for the procedure.  Your back will be cleaned with antiseptic and numbed with medication.  Under x-ray guidance, needles will be inserted through the skin of your chest to an area under the ribs, and local anesthetic (numbing medication) will be injected.

After the Procedure:   

You will be asked to rate your pain.  You will go to the recovery room to be monitored.  You IV will be discontinued, and you will be discharged home.

Potential Complications:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Collapsed lung

Follow-up:

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

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