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Genitofemoral Peripheral Nerve Block

Genitofemoral nerve blocks are a minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment for chronic pain. These nerve blocks can help in the diagnosis of chronic groin, testicular, penile, and pelvic pain conditions. In addition, this pain management technique can also provide therapeutic relief by reducing pain signals originating from these nerves.

The genitofemoral nerve, because of where it is located, is at risk of being injured during lower abdominal surgery. These surgeries may include Pfannenstiel incision for a c-section, appendectomy, inguinal herniorrhaphy, or laparoscopic surgery, which commonly requires a trocar insertion.

How It Works

A genitofemoral nerve block is performed either with the assistance of landmarks that can be easily felt by touch (palpation), or under imaging guidance (a live x-ray or ultrasound machine) to increase the accuracy of this procedure.

  • You will be asked to lie on your back.
  • Your abdomen, thigh, and groin will be cleaned with an antiseptic, and a sterile drape will be placed.
  • Your Center for Pain Management physician will direct a guide needle toward the intended target area.
  • A local anesthetic and sometimes a steroid (cortisone) will be administered in close proximity to the nerve to block signals from reaching the brain. The cortisone serves as an anti-inflammatory.
  • A dressing is placed over the place of needle entry after the procedure.


This procedure is safe. However, with any procedure, there are risks, side effects and possible complications. Temporary pain at the injection site is the most common side effect. Other less common risks include infection, bleeding, or injection into blood vessels and surrounding organs. Fortunately, serious side effects and complications are uncommon. X-ray guidance or ultrasound to provide visualization of the targeted structures significantly minimizes risk.