Stellate ganglion block (SGB)
The SGB is an injection of anesthetic to a specific nerve bundle that reduces the “fight or flight” response, and helps improve symptoms of PTSD and Anxiety. Many of Dr. Smitherman’s patients have been able to overcome their crippling PTSD and Anxiety to regain their lives with this procedure.
All SGB injections are performed under ultrasound guidance.
SGB in the Media
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- SGB: $600 + cost of office visit
- Optional relaxation IV: $125
- The cost can be broken down into payment plans of up to 12 months when a credit card is put on file.
Sometimes people need booster SGB from time to time. Booster SGB cost $300 plus office visit.
- Insurance does not cover SGB when performed for PTSD and/or Anxiety.
- Insurance may cover the office visit performed on the day of your SGB depending on your coverage, and Dr. Smitherman’s network status.
An initial series of two injections on two consecutive days is recommended. Some patients may find that additional SGB are helpful for them if they are consistently in stressful situations, or feel that they can get further benefit from additional SGBs.
Dr. Smitherman has an 80-90% success rate for PTSD with the SGB.
The SGB can provide relief from PTSD and anxiety symptoms instantly. Most people will notice a difference within 30 minutes. Some people need to be exposed to triggers to see that they are less responsive to those triggers than they were prior to the SGB.
A SGB can potentially last for as long as a person does not trigger a new PTSD event.
Dr. Smitherman has performed hundreds (at the time of this article update) of SGBs. Dr. Smitherman performs all SGB under ultrasound guidance to minimize risk. There are office procedures in place to handle any complications that arise. Most side effects are minor and self limiting. Dr. Smitherman will review all risks with each patient at the time of the visit.
Dr. Smitherman will review your past medical history, and medications at your first office visit. A SGB will not interfere with your other therapies for PTSD or anxiety.
Instructions: Below is a list of problems that people sometimes have in response to a very stressful experience. Please read each problem carefully and then circle one of the numbers to the right to indicate how much you have been bothered by that problem in the past month
Reference: Weathers, F. W., Litz, B. T., Keane, T. M., Palmieri, P. A., Marx, B. P., & Schnurr, P. P. (2013). The PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) – Standard [Measurement instrument]. Available from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/