Question: Sphenopalatine Block + MVD

Hi all!

I was asked to get a Sphenopalatine Block to help my Neurosurgeon decide if I am a good candidate for MVD. Does anyone know what it means if the block doesn't help (does that mean its not TN?)? Does anyone know why this block results help determine about having MVD?

Thank you!

Hi Sara,
I had one done as well - it is to rule out the spenopalatine nerve as the cause of your pain. Apparently the two closely resemble each other pain wise. If the block works at stopping your pain, then it likely is not TN.
Hope this helps.

Thank you! I had it done yesterday and I’m still having some pain today. I dont know if this means I’m not good for MVD option. Ill see what he suggests. Who knows!

Now I’m confused- I’m reading that the sphenopalantine block should help those with TN. Its hard to find solid info on this! I guess I’ll have to get more info from the nurologist on why the spheno as opposed to the trigeminal nerve block. Ack! I wish there was a simple template on all of this. Thank you again fr your input.

Hi Sarah,
I can see why you are confused - now I am too - I googled it, and it does seem to be connected somehow to the trigeminal nerve. I know that my NS used it to rule something out, but after reading the literature, I am confused as well. He did it prior to placing my neurostimulator, and he said that he wanted to rule something out in order to be sure that he should proceed, and I was under the impression that it was a different nerve. The literature says that it is tied to both cluster headaches and atypical facial pain, so maybe it was the AFP that he was trying to rule out.
Sorry to confuse you - I guess that he gave me the impression that it was a separate nerve group.

Sorry to add confusion! I will be seeing my neurosurgeon next week at Hopkins, so will certainly ask him and will let you know!

Hi Sarah,

If you don't mind, please check back in and let me know what he says :o)

Best of luck to you, I hope that it all goes well. My recommendation, if he is using the needle, is to lie down. The discomfort of it will make you want to draw back otherwise. Not to scare you - you know, every procedure hurts a little bit - but this is nothing big.

Take care,


the sphenopalatine block anesthetizes a ganglion nerve bundle in the back of the nasopharynx area. some people get irritation of this area due to a nearby artery. this ganglion has some sympathetic activity so if you have pain, you usually have something like a runny nose or watery eyes along with it at well. the old school name for this condition was called Sluder's neuralgia; but nobody uses this term anymore, except doctors who probably should be retired.

this is a test which can be done with a very long q-tip soaked with lidocaine; a needle is not necessary.

i am not a doctor, speak to your own about what i have said here.