Bianca Kennedy’s hot flashes were so insufferable that she was willing to risk a host of complications, including infection and seizures, to have a long hypodermic needle plunged into her neck.

The procedure, called a stellate ganglion block, is normally used to alleviate severe pain caused by overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. But since last year, a northwest suburban doctor has been offering it to women for relief of menopause symptoms.

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