Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block to Treat Shoulder Tip Pain After Thoracic Surgery: Report of 2 Cases

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Shoulder tip pain may occur after thoracic surgical procedures. The pain is caused by diaphragmatic irritation and is referred to the shoulder. Shoulder tip pain is often resistant to treatment with conventional analgesics. The sphenopalatine ganglion block has been described to manage many painful conditions. We report here the first use of this block to treat shoulder tip pain in 2 thoracic surgical patients. In both patients, the block produced rapid and sustained relief of the shoulder tip pain. We suggest that sphenopalatine ganglion block be considered to treat postoperative shoulder tip pain after thoracic surgical procedures.

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