25 Dec Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment Option Used By Pain Management Doctors
Radio-frequency Ablation, also called RFA, is a procedure pain management doctors use to reduce pain. An electrical current is produced using a radio wave, heats up a tiny area of the nerve tissue, which decreases, and sometimes even eliminates, the pain signal in that area.
Radio-frequency Ablation is used to treat many different types of chronic pain including low back, neck pain, and arthritis pain. Relief lasts for varying time frames depending on where the pain is located and what type of pain you are suffering from. 6 to 12 months is average for relief, and sometimes it lasts for years. 70 percent of those who receive the treatment get relief, which is why more and more pain management doctors are adding this treatment to their options.
Side Effects from Radiofrequency Ablation
The side effects are minimal. The main side effect is discomfort from bruising and swelling the treatment area. This should disappear in just a few days after your treatment.
Who is Radiofrequency Ablation a Good Option For?
Radiofrequency Ablation is not right for everyone. It is not recommended for anyone with bleeding or infection problems. You should discuss with your pain management doctor whether you are a good candidate for RFA.
Preparing for Radio-frequency Ablation
There are a few things you need to do to prepare for your Radiofrequency Ablation treatment. Of course, this is a general list and you should always follow the directions of your doctor.
• Never eat within 6 hours of your RFA appointment. Clear liquids up to 2 hours prior are okay.
• If you have diabetes and insulin is used, you’ll have to adjust your dosage the day of your treatment. Your doctor will help you with this. Bring your medication with you because you can have it immediately following your treatment.
• Use a small sip of water to take all medications. Never discontinue any medication without your doctor telling you to.
• You will not be able to drive after your procedure so make sure you have a driver. You will not be able to drive for 24 hours nor will you be able to operate any heavy equipment.
During Your Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment
Prior to your appointment, you will have had a full evaluation. At the time of your treatment, you’ll have an IV line placed in your arm vein, which will be used for your anesthetic, sedatives, and other medications deemed necessary. Depending on where your Radiofrequency Ablation is being done, you may actually be awake during your treatment. If you are awake, you won’t have pain as you’ll have been given a local.
Your doctor will used x-rays as a guidance tool for the needle to ensure it reaches the exact area. Then a microelectrode is inserted and the stimulation process is started and a small radiofrequency current is sent down the electrode into the tissue.
After Radiofrequency Ablation
You’ll be placed in a recovery room for a period of time where a nurse will check your vitals regularly. A bandage will be placed over your injection area and you will be given your discharge instructions. Your driver will be able to take you home.
If you have severe pain at your injection site or there is redness and/or swelling along with leg weakness you should call 911.