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Does Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment Hurt?

Does Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment Hurt?

Pain can be a real pain sometimes. What if we told you there’s a simple, pain-free way to “shut off” your nerves and stop them from sending pain signals? 

It might sound too good to be true (or too good to be painless), but with radiofrequency ablation, pain-free treatment is a reality. 

Dr. Raul Lopez, our pain management specialist at West Texas Pain Institute, wants you to know that you have real options for pain relief that aren’t painful themselves. Here’s an inside look at radiofrequency ablation and its gentle approach to pain management. 

Are you a candidate?

Radiofrequency ablation is a well-tolerated, minimally invasive procedure, but that doesn’t mean we recommend it to everyone. Part of our ability to help you avoid pain during and after treatment is ensuring that you’re a good candidate in the first place. 

Ideal candidates for radiofrequency ablation suffer from chronic pain stemming from a nerve problem and are in generally good health other than their pain. We don’t recommend this treatment for pregnant women. 

What happens during a radiofrequency ablation treatment

During your radiofrequency ablation treatment, your comfort is our priority. Here are a few ways we are diligent about avoiding pain from start to finish. 

Keeping you comfortable

Rest assured that you’re in the most comfortable position possible during your treatment. We have you lie down and relax on an X-ray table before we start working.

Once you've reclined comfortably, Dr. Lopez carefully injects a local anesthetic into the treatment area to make sure that you don’t feel anything during the procedure. If you feel you need more than a local anesthetic, we can administer a gentle sedative to help you relax completely. 

Carefully placing the needle

Dr. Lopez never performs radiofrequency ablation without the help of fluoroscopy — a special X-ray that uses a contrast dye to help Dr. Lopez guide the needle. That means there’s no unnecessary poking or prodding during your treatment. 

With the needle in place, we carefully feed the wire through, which allows us to heat and effectively neutralize your malfunctioning nerve. The result? No more pain signals traveling to your brain. 

Supporting you through recovery

Second only to pain during treatment, pain after treatment is one of our patients' greatest concerns. Fortunately, radiofrequency ablation doesn’t cause long-lasting uncomfortable side effects. 

At most, you may experience a sunburn-like discomfort at the injection site. Any side effects are both short-term and easily manageable with ice packs and topical or oral pain relievers. 

We recommend that a friend or family member drive you home and that you rest for a day or two after your treatment. We also equip you with customized aftercare instructions tailored to your unique needs. 

Need more information about your treatment options? We’d love to talk with you. Call our friendly staff at 915-229-5013 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our El Paso, Texas, office today. 

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