Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

THERMAL ABLATION TREATMENT OR RADIOFREQUENCY NEUROTOMY


HCA UK’s experts provide radiofrequency ablation to treat certain nerve conditions.

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation uses radio waves to create a current that heats a small area of nerve tissue. The heat created then destroys areas of the nerve, forcing it to stop sending pain signals to the brain.

RFA's offer benefits, including avoiding major surgery, immediate pain relief, minimal to no recovery time and improved function.

RFA can be effective for clients who are experiencing conditions such as facet joint pain, in the neck, shoulders and arms, or sacroiliac pain, near the hips.

Need to know

Radiofrequency ablation can be effective for clients who are experiencing conditions such as facet joint pain, in the neck, shoulders and arms, or sacroiliac pain, near the hips.

This treatment is carried out with local anaesthetic and a mild sedative. You will lie on an X-ray table, and your consultant will use a fluoroscope, or small X-ray, to direct a slim needle into the painful area. You are unlikely to feel any pain during the procedure, although you may feel some pressure. A needle connected to a radiofrequency generator will remove the nerve responsible for the pain, creating a small burn in the nerve tissue.
Before the treatment, your consultant will explain the procedure and answer any questions you might have. You will need to discuss your medical history, as well as previous surgeries or medications you are taking.

You may also have an X-ray and a CT scan, to guide the HCA UK team through the treatment.
You may be able to leave the facility soon after the procedure has taken place, although you may need someone to drive you home.

Your consultant will be able to advise you on how to manage your recovery and when you can get back to your usual daily routines, which is likely to be within a few days. You may experience some pain following the procedure, due to residual spasms from muscles and the site of the nerve ablation. Your healthcare team will discuss how to manage any discomfort, as well as advising any painkilling medication you may need.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) Consultants

Mr Christopher Chandler

Mr Christopher Chandler

Neurosurgery

Mr Francesco Vergani

Mr Francesco Vergani

Neurosurgery

Professor Keyoumars Ashkan

Professor Keyoumars Ashkan

Neurosurgery

Mr Ranjeev Bhangoo

Mr Ranjeev Bhangoo

Neurosurgery

Our Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) locations

SPECIALIST UNIT  London Neurosurgery Partnership

SPECIALIST UNIT London Neurosurgery Partnership

78 Harley Street W1G 7HJ London
The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.