Procedure & Treatment Library

Radiofrequency Neurotomy

What is Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

Prior to the Procedure

What Will Happen?

  1. You will be admitted to the day surgery by a nurse and you will be asked to change into a gown.
  2. The anaesthetist will speak with you and place a cannula (plastic needle) into a vein in your hand.
  3. In the procedure room, you will be assisted to position on the procedure table on your abdomen with a pillow under your hips and abdomen. A special earthing pad will be placed on the back of your leg. For cervical medial branch radiofrequency, you will be positioned on your side with the affected side up most.
  4. The anaesthetist will give you some sedation into your vein.
  5. An X-ray machine will be used to determine where the doctor will place the needle for your procedure. The entire procedure will take around 30 to 40 minutes to complete.
  6. Once correct placement has been achieved using X-ray guidance, sensory (and sometimes motor) stimulation will be performed. You will be asked to let the staff know when you feel a tingling sensation (sensory stimulation). It is very important that you let the staff know as soon as you feel this sensation.
  7. On completion of sensory stimulation, local anaesthetic will be applied and then radiofrequency neurotomy will commence. You should not experience any pain due to the local anaesthetic being applied. Each radiofrequency lesion takes 90 seconds and generally at least 2 lesions are done at each level.
  8. After the procedure, you will be placed on a trolley and taken to recovery, where you will remain for approximately 1 hour.
  9. After having something to eat and drink, you will be discharged with a carer.

Post Procedure

If you require further explanation of the procedure, please contact Hunter Pain Clinic nursing staff on (02) 4985 1800.

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