Can Anesthesia Treat PTSD?

A specialized anesthetic procedure used for treating chronic pain disorders and symptoms associated with breast cancer may also be useful  in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  A stellate ganglion block (SGB) involves injecting a local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion just below the subclavian artery on or above the neck of the first rib. Though the effects of the local anesthetic usually wears off after a few hours, SGB has already been found to be beneficial for a range of pain-related and vascular medical conditions including complex regional pain syndrome and frostbite. 

Anesthesiologist, Eugene Lipov has also reported positive results in treating hot flashes in women as well as PTSD.  Through his research on patients being seen at his Advanced Pain Centers clinic in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, Dr. Lipov reported anxiety relief as early as thirty minutes following an injection into the stellate gangion leading to the right hemisphere of  the brain.

To learn more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.


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