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Lubbock treatment brings senses of taste and smell back after COVID | KLBK | KAMC

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Dr. Michel Oliva performs a treatment called stellate ganglion block that has shown promising results for sensory receptors in patients that have improved a person’s sense of taste and smell.

Toni Jennings said she caught COVID at the end of 2020. Shortly after recovering, Jennings said her sense of taste and smell had never been the same afterwards.

“Everything started to smell bad,” Jennings said. “I think I first noticed it when I was cooking meat, and I thought the meat had rotted. So I threw it away, and took out a new packet, cooked, it smelled the same thing. Everyone said it smelled good… But then I noticed it was meat, coffee, peanut butter and eggs. Then it would be things in the environment like the grass and the dairies, the oil fields, the washing powder, the soap shampoo, and it all smelled the same, like rotten flesh.

Dr Oliva said the injection of the local anesthetic has been used for years to treat or temporarily relieve pain in patients. In recent months, medical experts have found that it has also proven to be even more multifunctional.

“It’s been around since the 1930s,” Dr. Oliva said. “I’ve been doing this since 1993 when I was in residency, so I’ve been there for 30 years dealing with chronic pain. It’s an old procedure, but we’re using it as a new treatment… For a new post COVID, patients are developing this kind of abnormal smell. It’s a treatment that’s used across the country, and we’ve had about a 90% success rate. And so, it worked very well.

The procedure only takes a few minutes to perform. It is considered a non-invasive procedure that has already made all the difference for patients like Kaci Dugger. She has spent the last few months with her sense of smell and she said following the treatment was a matter of safety.

“I could taste, but it was just right, and I didn’t even realize how dull my taste was until I had the procedure,” Dugger said. “You think about it, and it might be a little scary. What if you can’t smell smoke or gas? We need our senses.

To learn more about the procedure or questions about other treatments offered by Dr. Oliva, call (806) 791-3377 or email rushpainnurse@gmail.com.