FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Trauma can cause long-term injury to the sympathetic nervous system – rending it overactive and sensitive. Renowned board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Eugene Lipov, has adapted the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) which targets the brain’s fight or flight response. Dr. Lipov’s adaptation is used to effectively treat patients suffering from trauma-related symptoms.
How long does it take?
The SGB procedure itself takes less than 20 minutes. However, if a major improvement in the patient’s mental state hasn’t occurred within 30 minutes of the procedure, a second application is administered. Between arrival, anesthesia, the SGB procedure, and follow-up observation, you can expect to spend several hours at Stella Center on the day of your appointment. Read our How It Works page for more detail.
Is Dr. Lipov’s SGB method proven to work?
We believe in transparency of treatment outcomes. And although no medical procedure will work 100% of the time, a significant number of Dr. Lipov’s patients report significant improvements in their symptoms.
Research shows the SGB procedure is effective in reducing mental trauma-related symptoms in approximately 80% of patients. See our Research page for more information on the clinical studies published over the past decade.
How many procedures are typically needed?
Two to three procedures spread over several years is common. The longest followed patient of Dr. Lipov had two procedures within ten years.
Do patients require psychological care after the procedure?
In many cases, yes. Patients who have been suffering with the mental and emotional effects of trauma for several years may need guidance to allow them to resume meaningful, productive lives. According to Dr. Springer, many people have found psychological treatments are even more effective after SGB. Treating some of the most severe biological symptoms of trauma may promote a more optimal mind state for gaining and applying new psychological insights.
Is the procedure covered by insurance?
Though it is covered for pain procedures, the Stellate Ganglion Block for mental trauma symptom relief is not yet covered by insurance. Stella Center offers a financing program to make this treatment accessible and affordable for patients. For more information, visit our Financing page.
Should I continue treatment with my mental health provider(s) after receiving an SGB?
Yes! We find that the best way to sustain the positive changes you may experience is to continue your work with trusted mental health providers. If you want to explore tapering off of any prescribed medications, we strongly encourage you to do this with the support of your medication prescriber. If you do not currently have mental health support, we encourage you to line this up prior to getting an SGB. If you are already working with a trusted mental health provider, we encourage you to continue this work. As you work with your provider(s), you may find that you are more easily able to make changes in your life following SGB.
What is The Stella Program?
The Stella Program is our commitment to your recovery, from the second you pick up the phone to the moment you feel like yourself again. Outlined below is how we plan to address your needs as they evolve over time:
- Get to Know Each Other. We will personally review your symptom checker, your medical history and educate you on SGB to determine if the procedure is right for you.
- Financing. We’ve partnered with CareCredit to ease any financial burdens. They will help with financing and assistance with application if needed. Our Patient Care Coordinators will also identify if you qualify for any of the grant programs that cover SGB.
- Welcome Packet. Our comprehensive guide to the day of treatment is shared in advance, and will ensure that you know exactly what to expect on the day of your visit.
Day of Visit
- Private procedure rooms. We follow strict COVID protocols to guarantee sanitary and safe conditions throughout the entire facility.
- $300 travel stipends for out of state patients. We recognize that you might be traveling for your visit, and we want to eliminate as many barriers as possible to welcome you through the doors of Stella Center.
- Local or twilight anesthesia. This is an entirely personal choice based on your level of comfort.
- Dual Right-Sided Procedure. To ensure the most positive treatment outcomes, Dr. Lipov performs two SGB injections on the right side of the neck.
- Positive Effects. Over 90% of our patients experience success with their initial procedures. However, for a small fraction, the symptoms could resurface within several months. In these instances, the patient has the option to come back for a pulsed radiofrequency which is a different variation of SGB that has the potential for longer lasting effects
- 50% discount on ongoing wellness treatments. Once you’re patient at Stella Center, you’ll remain one for as long as you need us.
- Referrals to additional therapies. We are happy to provide referrals to our network of physicians so that you know you are seeing care providers who are aligned with your treatment plan.
- Follow ups in the weeks and months following the procedure. Patient Care Coordinators will continue to track your progress and make sure your needs are being met.
The Stella Program is designed to leave everything to us so you can focus on getting better. If you have any questions or concerns about this program and what it means to you, our Patient Care Coordinators are happy to answer your questions.