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A few small structures (ganglia and associated nerves) located near the middle of the head are primarily responsible for dilation or constriction of blood vessels. Irritation within these structures is one of the primary causes of recurrent headaches (migraine, cluster, etc.). A sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) block involves the safe delivery of anesthetic to the back of the nasal cavity via the nostril. Delivery of anesthetic to this location helps evaluate the source of head or facial pain, and often eliminates or significantly decreases pain.
An SPG block is a low-risk, minimally invasive procedure that can be effective when other treatments have failed. It can be repeated in 1-2-week intervals, if necessary. Please note that an SPG block cannot be performed if you have an allergy to local anesthetic or an active respiratory infection (nasal congestion).
This exam is covered under your Alberta Health Care Plan. It is not currently offered at our Saskatchewan clinics.
Please ensure that you bring your requisition with you to your appointment.