Procedural experience

Our division is proud to offer our trainees and patients a diverse range of interventional techniques, including fluoroscopic and ultrasound-based procedures. As a tertiary and quaternary center, we routinely perform challenging and higher risk procedures on complex patients.

Advanced Procedures

  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD)
  • Intrathecal Pump Implantation
  • Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation
  • Spinal Catheter Placement and Infusion Trial
  • Spinal Cord Stimulator Lead Trial
  • Neuromodulation revision
  • Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
  • Sacroiliac Denervation (via SImplicity III)
  • Indwelling Catheters for Infusion Therapy (eg- epidural, intraspinal, lumbar plexus, peripheral nerve)

Sympathetic Blocks

  • Stellate Ganglion
  • Celiac Plexus
  • Lumbar Sympathetic
  • Superior Hypogastric Plexus
  • Ganglion Impar

Head and Neck Blocks

  • Trigeminal (Gasserian and Trigeminal Divisions)
  • Sphenopalantine Ganglion
  • Peripheral Nerve Blocks

Neurolytic Techniques

  • Continuous and pulsed radiofrequency ablation
  • Cryoablation
  • Absolute EtOH injections

Ultrasound Guided Pain Techniques

  • Major bursa and joint injections
  • Stellate ganglion blocks
  • Peripheral nerve blocks
  • Trigger point injections

Infusion and Other Medication Therapies

  • Intrathecal Ziconotide (Prialt)
  • Intravenous Ketamine
  • Intravenous Lidocaine
  • Topical 8% Capsaicin (Qutenza)

Neuraxial Procedures

  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Epidural blood patches
  • Medial branch nerve blocks
  • Facet joint injections
  • Selective nerve root blocks
  • Sacroiliac joint injections
  • Caudal injections

Other Pain Management Procedures

  • Scar injections
  • Trigger point injections
  • Botox injections via the PREEMPT protocol for Migraine Headaches
  • Bier blocks

Faculty Highlights

Xiang Qian, MD, PhD

Dr. Qian is the medial director of the International Medicine Services at Stanford Health Care. In addition, he is a unique resource for Stanford’s orofacial pain program, performing and publishing on complex CT-guided facial blocks and ablations, including targeting sphenopalatine ganglion, glossopharyngeal nerve, and trigeminal ganglion. These complex procedures are done as a co-venture with interventional radiology and fellows are invited to perform and learn these procedures during their time.


Einar Ottestad, MD

Dr. Ottestad is director of the acute pain service at Stanford. In addition, he is past president of the World Academy of Pain Medicine Ultrasonography (WAPMU) and renowned in ultrasound medicine and peripheral nerve stimulation. Stanford is one of the leading centers for peripheral nerve stimulation, and fellows get an unparallel experience in ultrasound guided procedures.