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Radiofrequency Ablation

Ioannis M Skaribas, MD, DABA, FASA -  - Anesthesiology

Expert Pain

Ioannis M Skaribas, MD, DABA, FASA

Anesthesiology & Pain Management located in Memorial Area, Houston, TX

When you have chronic pain that isn’t improving with conservative treatments, radiofrequency ablation might provide a solution. Ioannis M Skaribas, MD, DABA, FASA, of Expert Pain in Houston, Texas, is double board-certified in pain management and anesthesiology with considerable expertise in treating patients using radiofrequency ablation. This advanced, minimally invasive technology stops nerves from sending pain signals to your brain. Call Expert Pain today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation heats the nerves responsible for chronic pain without harming the surrounding tissues. This minimally invasive treatment is a cutting-edge approach that restricts the nerves so they can no longer transmit pain messages to your brain. 

When you visit Expert Pain with a chronic pain problem, your provider creates an individualized treatment plan for you based on conservative therapies. Most patients respond to these treatments, which could include medications and physical therapy.

In some cases, patients with chronic pain conditions don’t find relief from their discomfort using these methods. If this applies to you, your provider might recommend steroid injections. If your condition still fails to improve, radiofrequency ablation could be a good option.

How does radiofrequency ablation work?

Radiofrequency ablation uses electric currents to destroy targeted nerve endings in the area causing pain. 

Your provider at Expert Pain uses state-of-the-art microelectrode technology to transmit a precisely measured dose of electricity to the nerve endings. The electrical current creates heat, which at a specific temperature damages the nerve, so it can’t send pain signals to your brain.

Patients who have radiofrequency ablation find it provides long-lasting relief from their chronic pain. It’s particularly effective in treating joint pain caused by arthritis, cervical radiculopathy, and other causes of neck pain, and lower back pain.

What happens during the radiofrequency ablation procedure?

Expert Pain specialists perform the radiofrequency ablation procedure while you’re under sedation so you’re relaxed and won’t feel any discomfort. Your provider injects a local anesthetic into the treatment site to numb the area thoroughly. Then, they insert a thin, hollow needle using moving X-ray technology (fluoroscopy) to show them where it should go. 

Your provider passes a microelectrode through the needle, at which point you might feel a tingling in the painful area. You tell your provider when this happens, which helps confirm the electrode is in the right place. They then send the radiofrequency current through the electrode to heat and destroy the nerve.

You can go home after your procedure once you recover from the sedative. Most patients experience improved symptoms after radiofrequency ablation, but how much varies from person to person. Your results should last for six to 12 months, although some people feel the benefits for years.

To learn more about radiofrequency ablation and see if it’s the right treatment for you, call Expert Pain today or book an appointment online.