SPG Block (spheno-palantine? block) worked for me!

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Posted by John R ( on December 12, 1999 at 02:06:28:

In Reply to: Relief posted by Suzy on December 11, 1999 at 19:40:06:

It worked for me. The only time I wasn't getting clusters without drugs during my chronic phase (about 12 of last 13 years) was for a month or two at a time after each SPG block. The doctor that performed it was both an M.D. board certified as ENT (ear, nose & throat) and a dentist! He was in private practice, but has since gone to work for an HMO.

After about the 3rd or 4th time he did the SPG block it had stopped working, so I didn't try to go back to him. Then, after several more years of clusters, I began to realize that things that work for a while will often work again if you give them a rest for a while (for me this has been true of oxygen, prednisone, verapamil, and others).

Anyway, when I went back to him, I couln't even get him on the phone. His nurse relayed to me that since there are so many new, good medications for migraines (he refused to acknowledge that clusters exist as separate entity & I didn't care that much what he called them as long as his treatment worked) that he no longer performs the SPG block.

I could try writing him a letter or something, I suppose, but I've moved back to other stuff that works (sort of)...

The procedure itself only took a few minutes and he did it during a regular office visit, so it may be something different from what Suzy is talking about. He would take a very long needle and bend it, then shoot about 2 cc's (it's been 10 yrs & my memory of this isn't so good) of some mixture of lidocaine and something else up into the gum behind my teeth on the cluster headache side. He made me sign a waiver stating that it could cause tempory or permanent blindness in my right eye. It never did. But it would hurt quite a lot for a few minutes (not as bad as a cluster headache) and my gum/jaw would be sore for a few hours.

Maybe I should go ahead and look into finding an anethesiologist or a different ENT (or ask him for a referral) to find someone else to do it... Like I said, it was the only time during those

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