What is Intravenous Regional Block?

This procedure involves giving an intravenous injection into the affected leg or arm.

Why am I having an Intravenous Regional Block?

he injection can help with symptoms of pain, swelling, changes in colour and sensation to skin, e.g. cold or hot feelings, sweating. You may be experiencing one or more of these symptoms.

What is injected?

One of two drugs may be used either Phentolamine or Guanethidine. The appropriate drug for your care will be decided by the consultant.

Where is it done?

The procedure is carried out in the Hospital. A letter with instructions and directions will be sent to you.

How is it done?

  • You will be asked to put on a gown
  • Your blood pressure will be taken and recorded
  • A small needle is put into the back of your hand as a safety precaution
  • A small needle is put into the hand or foot of the affected limb
  • You will be asked to lie on your back on the x-ray table
  • A cuff similar to a blood pressure cuff will be placed around the top of the affected limb, and inflated this can be uncomfortable because of the tightness of the cuff
  • The affected limb will change colour during the procedure
  • The consultant will inject into the vein via the small needle, the cuff can remain inflated for between 10-15 minutes
  • Sedation is not usually required for this procedure but if you are very anxious you may discuss this with the consultant prior to the procedure

How long will I be in hospital?

Although the procedure itself takes only 20-30 minutes you will be asked to stay for between 1-2 hours before you are allowed home. You will need someone to pick you up and stay with you over night. If this cannot be arranged you may be kept in hospital overnight for observation.

Can I take my usual tablets?

Take your usual medications in the morning and bring your medications with you. Diabetics and patients taking warfarin will be given individual information.

Can I eat and drink?

Please do not have any food 6 hours prior to your appointment time. You may have clear fluids up to 2 hours before your appointment.

For example:

if your appointment is 10.30am, do not have any food, sweets or chewing gum after 4.30am. Drink clear fluids, water, black tea or coffee up until 8.30am.
Nothing to eat or drink after 8.30am.
Diabetics will receive individual instructions.

Can I drive home?

For safety reasons you are asked not to drive on the day of the procedure or the following day.