A procedure that has been proven very effective for management of pain is also showing promise for treating debilitating hot flashes. A stellate ganglion block (SGB) is a shot of anesthetic into nerve tissue in the neck, and one study showed some pretty remarkable results.
According to the lead researcher, Eugene Lipov, MD, “Nineteen out of twenty patients had at least an 80 percent decrease in hot flashes for a period of two weeks to a year, following SGB.” Dr. Lipov said that many of the women also saw marked improvement in insomnia and sexual function.
For women who suffer from debilitating hot flashes, this may be the answer. It is a non-hormonal treatment that lasts from two weeks to a year. That’s a pretty good payoff for one injection. The sleep factor alone is priceless if those middle-of-the-night sweats could be reduced or eliminated. Imagine eight straight hours of sleep with no nighttime flashes -- heaven.
This procedure is not yet widely available, but the pilot is promising. Although it was done on breast cancer survivors, the Dr. Lipov and co-researcher Jaydeep R. Joshi, MD have used the procedure on menopausal women who did not have cancer and got the same dramatic results. They are currently continuing their research in this area.
This is one to watch. One injection, months of relief. Cool. Very cool.
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