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.
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.
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.