Radiofrequency Ablation

Pain Management located in San Antonio, TX

Radiofrequency Ablation

About Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation uses electrical energy to heat and destroy pain nerves. At Premier Pain Consultants in San Antonio, Texas, fellowship-trained Dmitriy Buyanov, MD, and his team use image-guided radiofrequency ablation to treat persistent, severe pain. You could benefit from this treatment when other therapies fail to reduce back, neck, knee, shoulder, or hip pain. Call Premier Pain Consultants today to see if you could benefit from radiofrequency ablation or request a consultation using the online booking feature.

Radiofrequency Ablation Q&A

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation treats chronic pain using mild electrical currents that disrupt communication between your nerves and brain.

Your provider uses the electrical current to heat targeted nerve tissue to a specific temperature. Heat damages the nerves, so they no longer transmit pain signals to your brain. Studies show that most patients experience pain relief or a degree of reduction after radiofrequency ablation. 

The procedure is minimally invasive, so you can go home the same day.

Who benefits from radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is a long-lasting solution to chronic pain in patients whose condition fails to improve with noninvasive treatments. It’s suitable for spinal disorders and joint pain in the knees, hips, and shoulders.

For most chronic pain patients, conservative approaches such as medication, activity modification, and physical therapy are adequate. However, some people don’t improve, or those with incurable conditions find treatment less successful as their condition worsens.

Joint and epidural steroid injections and ketamine infusions frequently help with persistent pain, but if they don’t, radiofrequency ablation is a likely next step. To ensure it will be effective, the Premier Pain Consultants team gives you a nerve block injection to see if it successfully numbs your pain.

What happens during my radiofrequency ablation session?

Before radiofrequency ablation begins, your Premier Pain Consultants provider gives you a sedative through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm.

You lie on your back or stomach, and your provider injects anesthetic into your skin to numb the treatment site. Then, they insert a thin needle using fluoroscopy (moving X-ray) or ultrasound imaging. This technique ensures your provider can see precisely where the needle is and guide it into position.

Next, they insert a microelectrode and ask if you can feel a tingling sensation. Your guidance helps them identify the ideal place to administer radiofrequency ablation. Your provider then transmits radiofrequency energy currents through the electrode, destroying the nerve tissue.

How long do radiofrequency ablation results last?

Radiofrequency ablation effects typically last 6-12 months; some patients experience pain reduction long after this.

The treated nerves can grow back in time. If they do, you might find your pain isn’t as bad as before, but if your condition worsens significantly, you can undergo radiofrequency ablation again.

Call Premier Pain Consultants to learn more about radiofrequency ablation’s benefits, or book an appointment online today.