After you arrive for your appointment, you will be escorted to a procedure room, where you will be asked to change into a patient gown. You will be positioned on an exam table, and fluoroscopy will be used to determine the most appropriate needle entry site. The radiologist will cleanse the overlying skin, and a small amount of local anesthetic (lidocaine) will be injected with a small needle. You will feel a tiny pinch similar to a pinprick while the anesthetic is injected.
After the area becomes numb, the radiologist will insert a needle and advance it to the appropriate location while observing under fluoroscopy. This may reproduce your usual symptoms. A small amount of contrast material will be injected to confirm the needle is in the proper location. A mixture of a steroid medication and an anesthetic agent will then be injected, which often produces an immediate improvement in symptoms. The needle will then be removed. A bandage will be placed over the insertion site, and you will be transported to the recovery area.
After being monitored for a short time, you will be released with discharge instructions. The entire procedure usually takes about 45-60 minutes. Prior to discharge you will be given a pain log, which you should take home with you and use to record any changes in your symptoms. You should bring the pain log with you when you follow up with your regular doctor.
The contrast agent that is used during the procedure is an iodine-based material. Radiology Ltd. uses only non-ionic contrast agents (the safest kind), but with all contrast agents there is always the potential for allergic reaction. Be sure to tell your technologist if you have experienced a reaction to CT contrast in the past.
For your safety and the protection of others, we do not allow anyone other than patients in our exam rooms.