24 Sep Fight Pain with Radiofrequency Ablation
Radiofrequency ablation RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure used to destroy abnormal or damaged tissue. The abnormal tissue is destroyed using heat (radiofrequency), extreme cold (cryoablation), chemical or laser. Radiofrequency-ablation uses heat to damage the nerves that send pain signals to the brain. This results in 6 – 12 months of pain relief. In some cases, relief can last for a number of years.
RFA has been an effective treatment for some forms of pain and is well-tolerated. There are a few complications.
Symptoms post-treatment may include:
- discomfort at RFA treatment site that lasts a few days
- slight risk of infection
- minimal bleeding at the insertion site
- numbness in legs
The procedure is done with local anesthesia. Patients are awake during the procedure so they can provide verbal feedback during the RFA treatment. X-ray is used as a guide so the needle is placed in the exact target area. An electrode is inserted through the needle to administer heat and destroy the tissue that is causing the pain.
There are restrictions that follow the procedure including:
- no driving for 24 hours
- no strenuous activity for at least 24 hours
- no bathing for a couple days, although you may shower
RFA Treatment is also used for other types of illnesses including:
- knee pain
- facet outlet syndrome
- various organs like liver, pancreas, stomach