Radiofrequency Ablation

Pain Management Treatments in Texas

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radio waves to heat and destroy tissue. It is commonly used to treat pain, but can also be used to treat tumors and other conditions.

How does RFA work?

RFA uses a thin needle that is inserted into the body under X-ray or fluoroscopic guidance. The needle is placed near the tissue that needs to be destroyed. Radio waves are then sent through the needle, which heats the surrounding tissue. The heat destroys the tissue and causes it to shrink.

Types of RFA

There are two main types of RFA:

  • Percutaneous RFA: Percutaneous RFA is the most common type of RFA. It is performed by inserting a needle through the skin and into the target tissue.
  • Open RFA: Open RFA is performed during surgery. The surgeon makes an incision in the skin and inserts the needle directly into the target tissue.
What conditions can RFA treat?

RFA can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Pain: RFA is commonly used to treat pain caused by arthritis, cancer, and other conditions.
  • Tumors: RFA can be used to destroy small tumors in the liver, lungs, and other organs.
  • Varicose veins: RFA can be used to close varicose veins, which are swollen and enlarged veins in the legs.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia: Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which is a nerve that supplies sensation to the face.
  • Cluster headaches: Cluster headaches are a type of headache that occurs in clusters, with each cluster lasting for several weeks or months.
Benefits of RFA

RFA offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Minimally invasive: RFA is a minimally invasive procedure, which means that it is performed through a small incision and does not require the surgeon to cut through the muscles or bones.
  • Less pain: RFA is generally less painful than traditional open surgery.
  • Shorter recovery time: RFA has a shorter recovery time than traditional open surgery. Most people are able to go home from the hospital the same day as the procedure and return to normal activities within a few days or weeks.
  • High success rate: RFA has a high success rate in treating a variety of conditions.


Who is a good candidate for RFA?

RFA is a good option for people who have:

  • A condition that can be treated with RFA
  • No other medical conditions that would make them a high-risk candidate for surgery
  • Realistic expectations about the results of the procedure
What to expect during and after RFA

RFA is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. The procedure takes about 30-60 minutes to complete.

Before the procedure, patients are given a sedative to help relax. They may also be given local anesthesia to numb the area where the needle will be inserted.

During the procedure, the patient lies on a table. The doctor will insert a thin needle into the target tissue under X-ray or fluoroscopic guidance. Radio waves will then be sent through the needle to heat the surrounding tissue.

After the procedure, patients are monitored for a few hours in a recovery room. Once they are stable, they're able to go home.

Most people experience some pain and discomfort after RFA. This is usually mild and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Patients may also be advised to avoid certain activities for a few weeks to give their bodies time to heal.

Risks and side effects of RFA

RFA is generally a safe procedure. However, there are some potential risks and side effects, including:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Allergic reaction to the anesthetic or other medications used during the procedure
  • Recurrence of the condition being treated

Radiofrequency ablation is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of conditions, including pain, tumors, and varicose veins. It offers a number of benefits over traditional open surgery, including less pain, a shorter recovery time, and a high success rate.

If you experience chronic pain and would like to know if radiofrequency ablation is right for you, make an appointment with us. We'll perform a full evaluation and create a treatment program for your unique situation.