Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment that offers effective and enduring relief for your chronic pain. If you get good results from a test injection, esteemed pain management specialist Lewis Frazier, Jr., MD, can perform radiofrequency ablation as an outpatient procedure at Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care. Learn more about this effective treatment by calling the Plano, Texas, office today to schedule an appointment.

Radiofrequency Ablation Q & A

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment for long-term back pain, neck pain, or knee pain. In this outpatient procedure, Dr. Frazier, Jr. uses radiofrequency waves to burn the nerve fibers that cause your pain. This decreases nerve activity in that specific area, thereby reducing your pain long term.

More than 70% of radiofrequency ablation patients achieve effective pain relief if they’re good candidates for the procedure.

Will radiofrequency ablation work for me?

There’s a very reliable way to know whether radiofrequency ablation will work for you. If you get significant pain relief from an anesthetic injection (a medial branch block), you’re a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation, as the procedures target the same specific area.

If you get good results from a medial branch block, you’ll most likely have 6-18 months of pain relief with radiofrequency ablation. Some people enjoy years of pain relief.

How do I prepare for radiofrequency ablation?

Dr. Frazier, Jr. gives you specific instructions. You’ll typically fast (no food or water) for eight hours before your scheduled procedure. You can take medications with a small sip of water. But, if you use insulin, you must adjust the dosage the day of your radiofrequency ablation procedure.

Bring your insulin and other medications to your scheduled procedure. That way, you can take them as soon as you’re done before you go home. Arrange for a loved one to bring you to the procedure and drive you home afterward. You can’t drive for 24 hours following radiofrequency ablation.

How does the radiofrequency ablation procedure work?

Prior to the procedure, you’ll typically receive intravenous anesthesia and sedation. You’ll be awake but won’t be in pain during the radiofrequency ablation. Dr. Frazier, Jr. inserts a slender needle into the area of pain, then uses X-ray guidance to situate the needle around the specific nerves he’s targeting.

Dr. Frazier, Jr. moves a microelectrode through the needle and then performs stimulation tests to verify its placement. Next, he coats the nerve in anesthesia before sending radiofrequency pulses into the nerve tissue to heat and destroy it.

Does radiofrequency ablation cause any side effects?

Radiofrequency ablation is a safe procedure with an excellent track record. A few mild side effects can occur, like swelling, bruising, and a temporary increase in soreness for up to a month. When you consider the dramatic long-term pain relief this procedure can yield, most people feel that minor short-term symptoms are well worth it.

Learn more about radiofrequency ablation by calling Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care today for an appointment.