by Nevada Pain
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive medical procedure. The procedure focuses on relieving pain coming from the joints of the neck or back and may provide over a year of consistent pain relief. Heat is generated from high frequency alternating current. Patients are treated in an outpatient setting, using either local anesthetics or conscious sedation anesthesia.
The RF currents used do not directly stimulate nerves or heat muscle. This is why the procedure can be done without general anesthetic. The treatments can be used to treat tumors, the heart, varicose veins, obstructive sleep apnea, and help with pain management.
Patients preparing for a radiofrequency ablation procedure should not eat within six hours of their appointment. Clear liquids are allowed until two hours before the procedure. Those who take insulin must adjust their dosage the day of the procedure according to the Las Vegas Pain Management Clinic instructions. Other medications can be taken before the procedure, but need to be verified by a medical professional. After the procedure, patients will need to have someone drive them home and should not operate machinery or drive for the first 24 hours.
In preparation for the procedure, an IV line may be administered. A local anesthetic or mild sedative can be given to reduce discomfort during the treatment. To properly assess the procedure, patients will remain awake so that they can communicate with the doctor.
After the anesthesia takes effect, the pain doctor inserts a small needle into the general area where pain is being felt. The Las Vegas Pain Doctor then guides the needle to the exact target area with the help of an x-ray machine known as fluoroscopy.
Once the needle is in place a small radiofrequency current is sent into the surrounding tissue via the electrode. This causes the tissue to heat. Patients may feel slight discomfort during this portion of the procedure.
After the procedure patients stay in a recovery room for observation. A bandage is placed over the injection site and the patient’s blood pressure and pulse are monitored. The nurse will review discharge instructions that include rest for 24 hours. The bandages can be removed that evening and patients can resume their normal diet.
At times after a radiofrequency ablation, a patient may have continued muscle spasms for a week or so after the procedure. The results in published studies show that over 80% of patients receiving a radiofrequency procedure experience significant pain relief, often for anywhere from 6 to 18 months. When the pain relief wears off, the procedure may be repeated with the expectation the same result will be seen.
The top pain management doctors in Las Vegas, Summerlin and Henderson are with the Nevada Pain Network. There are several locations with Board Certified pain management doctors accepting over 50 insurances.
Call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today!