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Professional Radiology and Outpatient Imaging Services

Procedure Prep - Migraine Pain Relief

How should I prepare for my procedure?

If your previous imaging was not done at one of our locations, you may be asked to contact your former provider and request that your film be sent to us for a comparison study.

  • Arrive 15 minutes early to complete registration.
  • Bring your insurance card and a valid photo ID.
  • Complete the SPG Patient Health History and the HIT 6 test, upon arrival.

How long will my procedure take?

Your first appointment will take approximately 60 minutes, where you will first be evaluated to determine if you are a candidate for sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) block. Subsequent appointments will take 20-30 minutes.

What happens during my procedure?

During the procedure, a SphenoCath® device delivers a local anesthetic to the SPG through the nasal cavity without the use of needles, cotton swabs, or harsh medications. By applying a local anesthetic to the SPG nerve cells, nerve impulses are blocked, providing temporary relief from migraine headache discomfort and facial pain.

You will lie down on an exam table. An interventional radiologist (a board certified physician) will use a SphenoCath® device to deliver a local anesthetic such as lidocaine (the same or similar medication used by a dentist) to your SPG though your nasal passage. The SphenoCath® is small and soft and the procedure is not painful. An SPG block using the SphenoCath® takes two to three minutes. You will remain in a flat or reclined position for 10-15 minutes afterwards to maximize the benefit.

What happens after my procedure?

For most patients, the procedure is well tolerated with only a few recipients feeling brief and very minor irritation of the nasal passages.

Following the SPG block you will need to have someone available to drive you home if you are not able to safely drive yourself. Refrain from eating or drinking for two hours after the procedure and avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours.