Is Radiofrequency Ablation Safe?

Is Radiofrequency Ablation Safe?

Medical science is developing the latest technological procedures and tools to help health issues. Radiofrequency ablation is the technique of reducing pain. It is being used in the world and recommended by many. Before you go for this advanced vein therapy, read about it so you can figure out if someone tries to manipulate you.

 What is radiofrequency ablation?

It is a procedure to destroy the nerve that carries pain signals to the brain. The nerve fiber is applied with an electrical current to destroy it. This is the minimally invasive technique that has lasting relief for the people bearing severe pain. It is an advanced way of reducing chronic pain. It is also called rhizotomy.

Is it surgical?

No. This is a non-surgical procedure. If you are afraid of surgery and want to have immediate pain relief then this is the procedure. It takes no time to recover and also decrease the need for painkillers. Patients are able to do their work and other activities quickly after this procedure. It also improves the function of the parts.

Target areas

It is especially good for back pain, lower back, knee, pelvis, arthritic joints, neck, and peripheral nerve pain.


Someone who has tried nerve block injection and experienced relief can be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation. It is not good for those having an infection, pregnant women and those having bleeding problems.

How it is done?

It is done through a fluoroscopic (x-ray). The electric current passed to the nerve fiber is produced by radio waves. It heats up the area of nerve tissue. The heat burns the nerve causing pain and stops the transmission of pain signals at the selected area. Radiofrequency ablation is used on a small and specific area. It is only performed by physicians, including radiologists, anesthesiologists, physiatrists (PM & R), surgeons and neurologists.

Is it safe?

It has been found safe and effective for pain relief. It is only for some specific kind of pain and on the recommendation of physicians. There is only a slight risk of bleeding at the insertion site of needle or infection but that can be minimized with the advice of a doctor.

Is it painful?

It is an easy to tolerate procedure. The process is not painful but the pressure is felt in the area.

The procedure

First of all, the doctor checks the medical history of the patient and review the procedures taken by the patient. He decides the area of radiofrequency ablation. The patient may be asked to stop taking medicines for pain relief even if it was prescribed. The procedure is performed at a designed lace for fluoroscopy.

It is asked to sign a consent form before taking the procedure so it is important to ask the questions that arise in your mind. Ask about the risks and everything you need to know.

The procedure may last for 15 to 45 minutes.

Step 1

The patient is asked to lie down on the x-ray table. The area of the treatment is numbed for reducing the discomfort. The patient is not treated with anesthesia rather he remains awake during the time. He will be asked to provide feedback to the doctor.

Step 2

The needle is inserted at the selected area with the help of fluoroscope (special x-ray). The needle is thin and hollow that passes the current. The doctor can watch the needle going inside through fluoroscope monitor. It makes sure that the needle is inserted at the right place. The patient might feel a little discomfort in this step.

Step 3

Heat is delivered and the hollow needle creates a small burn. This burn is called lesion and takes 90 seconds.

The procedure can also be used on more than one area at a time. Patients are able to walk by themselves and do their tasks immediately. Some people feel a little pain after 10 to 14 days of procedure that is due to the residual effects.

It gives relief from pain for up to 2 years. Follow-up appointments with the doctor are a must.

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