Radiofrequency Ablation of pains and tumors

18 Jul, 2022

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a new technique that uses a small catheter through the patient’s skin, while under local anesthetic, into tissues to destroy cells (most commonly cancer cells). High-frequency energy passes through the needle and causes the surrounding tissue to heat up, killing the nearby cells. This technique is used to treat neurological infections and nerve root pains, such as sciatica and costochondritis, nerve and spinal pains, hip joint or lower back pain, cartilage slip and osteoarthritis, and treating shoulder and hip pain and removing foot nails, and other conditions.

Advantages and disadvantages of Radiofrequency Ablation

RFA is one of the latest medical innovations, contributing to the immediate reduction of neck or back pain for longer periods, and can treat several spots simultaneously, thereby contributing to a rapid recovery. It is a safe technique and delivers top-notch results at lower costs compared to surgery.

Disadvantages:
The risk of complications from RFA is very low, and the success rates are pretty high, so this procedure is completely safe. Occasionally, complications may include infections, bleeding (at the needle insertion site), or superficial burns. In addition, the patient may experience pain for up to 14 days, but this is generally due to the side effects of Neurectomy or muscle spasms.

Types of Radiofrequency Ablation

There are three types of RFA procedures:
  • Conventional thermal radiofrequency (CT-RF): A traditional method of treating cases of cartilage slippage.
  • Pulsed radiofrequency ablation (PRF): This method uses a needle to deliver short bursts of high voltage current, followed by a quiet phase in which no current is applied.
  • Water-cooled radiofrequency ablation: this involves heating and then cooling a needle, having water running through the probe tip, which keeps the tip cool and avoids overheating.


RFA technique is performed in a fully sterile unit in the operating room, and it falls under day-case surgeries. The administration of antibiotics within 24 hours of surgery is recommended to reduce the risk of infection. Post-op, the patient is discharged in a few hours and instructed not to take painkillers before deciding on the success of the operation.

Cost of Radiofrequency Ablation

Costs depend on several factors, most notably the patient's condition, the degree of injury, the extent of the disease- in the case of tumors, and other factors.
In conclusion, Dallah Hospital and the Department of Radiological Counselling are committed to providing the best medical services and maintaining the highest quality and safety standards.