Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for trigeminal neuralgia is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to create a lesion on the trigeminal nerve, which can reduce or eliminate pain in individuals with trigeminal neuralgia.
During the procedure, a needle electrode is inserted through the cheek and into the trigeminal nerve. The electrode is then heated using radiofrequency energy to create a lesion on the nerve. This lesion can disrupt the pain signals that are being sent to the brain, which can provide relief for the individual's pain.
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Is Radiofrequency Ablation the first treatment option for trigeminal neuralgia?
Radiofrequency Ablation is generally considered after other conservative treatments like medications (anticonvulsants) have been unsuccessful or caused intolerable side effects. It is a less invasive option compared to some other surgical procedures, such as microvascular decompression (MVD).
Is Radiofrequency Ablation painful?
The procedure is performed under local anesthesia or light sedation, so the patient should not feel significant pain during the treatment. However, some patients may experience mild discomfort during the procedure.
How long does the Radiofrequency Ablation procedure take?
The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete.
Is Radiofrequency Ablation a permanent solution for trigeminal neuralgia?
The effectiveness of Radiofrequency Ablation varies from patient to patient. While some individuals may experience long-lasting pain relief, others may require repeat treatments or experience recurrent pain over time.
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