Radiofrequency ablation or RFA Is a procedure designed to reduce pain. This procedure uses an electrical current produced by radio waves to heat up small areas of your nerve tissue. The purpose of heating up the nerve tissue is to decrease the pain signals that your nerves are sending.
Which conditions can be treated with this procedure?
Patient to experience chronic lower back pain, chronic neck pain, or pain related to joint degeneration from arthritis will qualify for this procedure at pain clinic.
How long does the pain relief last?
The longevity of the pain relief you get from this procedure will vary depending on the cause of your pain and the location of your pain. In many cases the pain relief can last anywhere between six months and 12 months. In some cases the relief will last for multiple years. Over 70% of patients were treated with this procedure at a pain clinic in Dallas will experience some modicum of pain relief.
Is this a safe procedure?
This procedure has been proven to be safe and effective. It is well tolerated and there are very few complications associated with it. As with all procedures similar to this, there is a slight risk of bleeding at the insertion site and infection. But your pain management doctor can advise you about whatever particular risk level you may face.
What are the side effects of this procedure?
The biggest side effect associated with this procedure is discomfort which includes bruising and swelling at the site of the injection. But after a few days this will go away.
Who does not qualify for this procedure?
This procedure is not recommended for everyone. People who have an active infection or who suffer from regular bleeding problems should not undergo this procedure.
How can you prepare for this procedure?
In order to prepare for this treatment you need to take a couple of precautions. You should not eat within six hours of the appointment but you can consume clear liquids up to two hours before your procedure. If you are diabetic you must adjust your dosage the day before your procedure. You should bring any diabetic medication you have with you to take immediately after the procedure. Your doctor should be able to help you with this adjustment. Any other medications you take should be consumed with a small sip of water. You should bring all of your medication with you so that you can consume it directly after the procedure. In some cases you may need somebody else to drive you home especially if you underwent sedation during the process. You should not drive 24 hours after this procedure nor should you operate machinery.
What happens during the procedure?
When you undergo this procedure at a Dallas pain clinic you will be given intravenous line through which the local anesthetic and sedative are administered. You may be awake during the process in order to assess the procedure but this should be discussed with your pain management doctor ahead of time. Using an x-ray the doctor will guide the needle into the target region and will use a microelectrode to insert the needle and begin the process. During this procedure you may feel a slight tingling. Once the placement has been verified the small radiofrequency current will be sent through the needle and electrode into your surrounding tissue, which causes the tissue to heat up.