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Old 10-23-2006, 10:03 PM   #1
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Radio Frequency Ablation

I am considering radio frequenty ablation for severe nere pain. I've already tried so many medications, nerve blocks, and epidural blocks with only slight relief.

Has anyone had any experience with it?

 
Old 10-27-2006, 04:47 PM   #2
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Re: Radio Frequency Ablation

I have knowledge of it, and was considering having it done.

Which nerve is giving you trouble?

Gamma-Knife surgery has a far higher sucess rate.

Prior to having any ablation performed, make sure that you have a nerve block performed in the DIRECT area of the nerve to the point that it is numb.

You doctor can use Lidocaine or Markaine, etc. If you have numbness and no pain, it's generally safe to go ahead with the Ablation procedure.

If you do not get full pain relief, it is VERY doubtful that any ablation procedure would be sucessful.

Having numbness and pain, at the same time is very hard to deal with. There are no treatment protocols and this syndrome is called anesthesia deloria. It is VERY, VERY rare, but often leads to suicidal pain.

Prior to any radio-frequency procedure I would certainly investigate gamma-knife or Glycerol-injections.

I have suffered from "suicidal nerve" pain so I do understand all about ablation procedures. But you must be very, very careful with irreversable procedures. Sometimes you have to second guess the doctor, and figure out if removing the nerve is really the best "LONG TERM" option, you must determine if there will be residual neuropathic or phantom pain, and you must determine if the doctor's skill level is appropriate for the procedure you're suggesting, as it is not without it's risk.

The nerve often grows back and causes pain, several months to several years after an ablation procedure.

It really depends on where you have the nerve pain....a clamp on the nerve can also interupt the nerve signal completely, but is reversable.

That's why I'm wondering which nerve has the affliction?

If it's in an are in which a compression clamp can be installed, that would be my, personal first choice, as it is the most conservative method, save for a glycerol-injection which really should be done prior to any type of ablation.

Good luck,
Eric

 
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Old 10-28-2006, 08:33 PM   #3
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Re: Radio Frequency Ablation

I have been dealing with pain from nerve damage for over a year. It is the inguinal nerve on my right side. I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy 4 years ago, a right oophorectomy 2 years ago due to extensive adhesions and a complex cyst. I had a third surgery last year to remove a pelvic tumor on my right side - the tumor was groing around the nerves and in the process of extracting the tumor the nerve was damaged. I had a fourth surgery nine months ago in an attempt to relieve the pain - the last surgery was unsuccessful.

I have tried several medications - Amitriptyline, Neurontin, Lyrica, Lodine - none of them have helped. I have used Vicodin, Darvocet, and Percocet for pain - they give minimal relief.

I have had five nerve blocks this year - three in the inguinal nerve area and two spinal epidurals. With the spinal blocks I get about three weeks of pain relief - with the inguinal blocks I get about five to six weeks of relief. The blocks work but the pain relief is short-lived. The side effects from the steroids are not pleasant - excessive weight gain, increased blood pressure, insomnia, and increased heart rate.

I've been to my primary care doctor, my gynecologist, several neorologists, a couple surgeons; I have consulted with a few pain management specialists and discovered one in my area that specializes with the nerve ablation. I did plenty of research on him prior to making an appointment to see him. When I saw him he presented four possible options for my problem.

1. radio frequency ablation of the nerve(s) - an electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up the tissue inside the nerve, decreasing pain signals in a specific area. Occasionally a second treatment is needed.

2. cryoablation - this uses extreme cold temperature to destroy the nerve tissue. The risk with this ablation is that the actual nerve can become damaged, not just the nerve tissue.

3. surgery to remove a section of nerve

4. a stimulation implant - this also requires surgery - the implant is put under the skin and wires put in the nerve to stop the pain signals. The implant has a battery that would need to be replaced at some point and care has to be taken not to break the wires.

I was told that the cryoablation and the surgery to remove the actual nerve posed the most risk of failure - the nerve is more likely to regenerate with those two procedures. I was told that often with these two procedures the pain can become worse than it originally was.

I believe I need to avoid any further pelvic surgery - the risk of more damage and additional adhesions would not be good. My quality of live is decreasing quickly.

A couple days ago I went ahead and had the radio frequency ablation because I felt it posed the least amount of risk of actual damage to the nerve. Also, I was told I could only get so many nerve blocks a year due to the steroids. I do have some swelling and bruising where the needles were inserted. I have had some reduction in pain already - I should know within a few weeks how successful the procedure was.

Eric, Thank you for your reply and input; I'll keep you posted on how the ablation works out in case you may still be considering it.

Take care.

Lynn

 
Old 01-16-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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Re: Radio Frequency Ablation

Hi,
I'm considering having radio frequency ablation on my greater occipital nerve. Did you have the procedure? What was the result? Could you please post information about your experience? Thank you.

 
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