More Painful After Radiofrequency Ablation What’s normal? Healthline

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Radiofrequency ablation is effective in treating neck and back pain, as in the treatment of certain types of tumors, like tumors.

While radiofrequency ablation is not terribly damaging, it’s not uncommon to be a bit uncomfortable and painful during the initial couple of weeks following the procedure.

The recurrence of pain after radiofrequency ablation could be a sign of a problem that could be a sign of an infection.

Learn more about what to expect following radiofrequency ablation. Also, when to speak with your doctor.


Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure where your doctor will utilize imaging, such as an ultrasound scan, to determine the best location to place the radiofrequency probe. The probe is then placed into your body close to the nerves or growth which are targeted.

The probe emits radiofrequency signals which cause cells within the tissue surrounding to die. The immune system eliminates the dead cells, which reduces the growth or blocks the nerves’ signals of pain.

Radiofrequency ablation is a non-invasive procedure. It doesn’t require general anesthesia.

Particularly, radiofrequency ablation may be utilized to:



A majority of patients experience some discomfort and pain following radiofrequency ablation. There might be numbness, swelling, or soreness in the area where the needle was inserted or it may feel as sunburn.

The typical post-procedure discomfort should not be excessive. In the majority of cases it can be treated with prescription painkillers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

In the majority of cases the pain will be gone within 1 to 2 weeks after having the procedure.

There are however a few reasons why you may experience duration pain or discomfort that gets worse after radiofrequency ablation

  • If you’ve had an ablation because of neck or back discomfort, it could take up to 3 weeks before you feel the full benefits of pain-relief. In this instance, painful levels could be expected. Additionally, the procedure is not able to completely relieve pain for all individuals.
  • The degree of pain you experience after the ablation could also depend on the reason for the procedure. For instance radiofrequency ablation for Barrett’s esophagus could cause extreme chest discomfort.
  • The length of recovery time varies depending on the individual and depends on the reason for the procedure. For instance, the standard recuperation time of radiofrequency ablation treatment for neck pain is around

    2 weeks

    While the recuperation time for ablation for the treatment of a tumor in the liver is around one week.

The risk of serious side effects after radiofrequency ablation are not common, but they’re it is possible. While mild discomfort and minor pain (about the size of a severe sunburn) following the procedure are normal, extreme discomfort is not typical.

See your doctor if notice any of the following signs:

  • The medication for pain doesn’t appear to alleviate discomfort in any way.
  • Your pain hasn’t diminished over the past 2 weeks.
  • The back and neck discomfort is more severe than prior to the surgery.

There are a few possible serious problems that could create pain and discomfort after radiofrequency ablation. Let’s take a look at each one the causes of this in greater specific detail.

Damage to blood vessels or nerves

If the needle enters your bodythere’s little chance that it will damage the nerves surrounding it and blood vessels.

Keep an eye out for tingling and pain or numbness at the ablation site , which lasts longer than couple of weeks. It could be a sign of nerve or blood vessels being damaged.

Hyperesthesia

Hyperesthesia is a condition that causes increased skin sensitivity near the site of injection. If you experience this type of condition, you’ll feel intense discomfort when you contact the site of injection, or if the hand is too cold or hot.

Infection

Infection is a possible complication of any procedure. However, it is rare to occur in less than 1 % from radiofrequency ablations. The signs of infection following the procedure are:

  • swelling and redness around injection area
  • The fever
  • chills
  • The injection site is bleeding and there is a lot of blood
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • Trouble breathing
  • painful injection site that isn’t getting any better with medications



If you experience pain after radiofrequency ablation, it isn’t a sign that it didn’t work. Radiofrequency ablation can reduce pain, however it may not eliminate pain completely.

If you undergo radiofrequency ablation treatment for neck or back discomfort, your physician is likely to judge it successful in the event that you experience at least a 50 % decrease in the pain. In reality, some doctors may even require a decrease of 30% or 2 points on the scale of pain as a benchmark for achievement.

Furthermore, enhancements to performance and quality of life are just as essential as pain reduction. Even there is a little pain, the procedure could be thought to be successful if you’re more mobile or active than before the procedure.

Radiofrequency ablation does not last forever. For those suffering from persistent pain of ablation will last around

6 months to 1 Year

or for a longer time. In the meantime, the nerves will grow again and the pain could return back.

If your ablation went well however, your symptoms recur then you may have to undergo the procedure done again. Most people will find that the repeat procedures will be just as effective as the first.


Ablation using radiofrequency is a popular minimally invasive procedure utilized to reduce tumors and other forms of growth in the body. It can also be used to eliminate nerves that cause certain kinds of chronic pain, particularly back and neck pain.

A few minor discomforts after the procedure is normal but the pain should not be significantly worse following radiofrequency ablation.

If you are experiencing severe pain, or your pain becomes worse with time, or if you’re suffering from signs of infection, it is important to speak with your physician. They will be able to determine if your pain is normal part of healing , or whether you require more treatment.