What is an Ilioinguinal Nerve Block?
An ilioinguinal nerve block is a medical procedure used to alleviate pain in the lower abdomen and groin area. This nerve block specifically targets the ilioinguinal nerve. This nerve provides sensation to the lower abdomen, pubic region, and upper part of the inner thigh. The ilioinguinal nerve can be a source of pain, particularly in conditions such as inguinal hernias, surgical scars in the lower abdomen, or certain nerve entrapment syndromes. An ilioinguinal nerve block involves injecting a local anesthetic, often with a corticosteroid for longer-lasting relief, in the vicinity of the ilioinguinal nerve. This numbs the nerve and reduces inflammation, providing temporary relief from pain.
What Happens During the Procedure?
The patient is positioned comfortably, often lying on their back. The skin in the inguinal area is cleansed and sterilized to prevent infection. The physician injects a local anesthetic to numb the skin and tissues at the injection site. This may sting for a few seconds. After the numbing medicine has been given time to be effective, the physician directs a very small needle, using x-ray guidance into the area of the inguinal nerve. A small mixture of numbing medicine (anesthetic) and anti-inflammatory (cortisone/steroid) is injected.
Immediately after the injection, pressure is applied to the injection site to decrease the incidence of post block bruising or swelling. The patient is transferred to the recovery area for approximately 15 minutes. Patients are asked to report the percentage of pain relief and report the relief experienced during the next week by calling the clinic.