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Frequesntly Asked Questions

Explain The Field Of “Pain Management” To Me:

Pain Management is a specialty field that addresses the needs of patients that suffer from chronic and acute painful conditions. The goals of Specialized Pain Management are to relieve pain and suffering, as well as to improve the functional and psychological well-being of our patients.

Typically, Pain Management is a “branch” of Anesthesiology, meaning that doctors initially complete their (residency) training in Anesthesiology, and then they complete advanced (fellowship) training in the field of Pain Management. Many of the techniques that are used by Anesthesiologists (such as “Pain Blocks” and expertise with “Medication Management”) are the basis for treatment options that a Pain Management specialist will offer to their patients.

I Would Like To Become A Patient – Can I Refer Myself?

Yes, you can directly refer yourself, as well as family members or friends, to our practice. You do not need a referral from your doctor in order to make an appointment with our practice.

Rarely, a health insurance plan may require a referral from you primary care doctor, but our staff can assist you by contacting your primary care physician.

Does Specialized Pain Management Accept My Health Insurance?

Please visit our Insurances Page for a full list of Insurances we accept.

Tell Me More About Pain Block Procedures:

Pain Block Procedures are – in addition to Medication Management – a cornerstone of treatment at Specialized Pain Management. Our Medical Director, Dr. Daniel Batlan, has performed thousands of pain block procedures since he began his training at Johns Hopkins in 1986.

Pain Blocks, commonly referred to as “Cortisone Shots” or “Nerve - Joint Blocks”, are often highly effective procedures. They are typically recommended when previous treatments such as Medication Management are not sufficient to relieve pain. In addition, these procedures are very comfortably performed in almost all cases. Procedures are done as an outpatient, usually requiring only a few minutes to perform.

I Am Anxious, Because I Was Told That Pain Blocks Hurt. Is This True?

Generally, patients should not be anxious about a pain block hurting, Indeed, our practice is proud of our reputation for performing these procedures with a high degree of skill, and with little or no patient discomfort. The procedures generally are not painful because the skin is well anesthetized with a local anesthetic (e.g. “lidocaine”) prior to the procedure, and in addition many procedures are performed under generous sedation such that the patient is not at all “anxious”.

Why Should I Undergo A Pain Block Procedure?

Ultimately, pain blocks are performed for two reasons:

First, for the majority of patients that derive pain relief, they may not need to take as much pain medication as they did prior to performance of the pain block.

Second, when patients receive outstanding pain relief, then they possibly can avoid having surgery, because the patient will have received the pain relief that they desire from a common “cortisone shot” such as an Epidural for Neck or Back Pain or a Selective Nerve Root Block for “Sciatica”.

“Cortisone” seems to be a controversial medication. Is it safe?

Yes, under the careful administration of cortisone by a double board-certified physician such as Dr. Batlan, cortisone is both a safe and very effective medication for the treatment of “irritated nerve endings” and “painful joints”. Only a small amount of medication is used, and complications are rare.

Where Are Pain Blocks Performed?

Pain blocks are performed in one of two outpatient settings.

“Nerve Blocks”, such as “Epidurals” are conveniently performed at an outpatient surgical center. For the geographic convenience of our patients, Dr. Batlan performs these procedures at several surgical day centers in Southern Nevada. All centers have excellent nursing staffs, and they provide outstanding care to our patients. The pain block procedures are exclusively performed by your doctor  -  Dr. Batlan  -  and no other physician. Also, Dr. Batlan uses Flouroscopy (or an X-Ray camera) to precisely visualize needle placement. Finally, the injection site is “made numb” by the use of local anesthetics, and in most cases patients can choose to receive generous sedation for additional comfort.

“Joint Blocks” (such as Knee, Hip, and Sacroiliac Injections) as well as “Muscle Spasm Blocks” (or Trigger Point Injections) are conveniently performed in one of Dr. Batlan’s office locations.

When May I Return To Work After My Pain Block?

Generally, we recommend that patients relax at home for the remainder of the same day that the pain block is performed (and do not drive a vehicle). Typically, the very next morning our patients are ready to return to work.