Radiofrequency Ablation Specialist

Carl Hess, MD

Board Certified Pain Management Specialist & Anesthesiologist located in Fullerton, CA

Radiofrequency ablation is a unique and highly-advanced approach to chronic pain. With a short outpatient procedure, board-certified interventional pain management specialist and anesthesiologist Carl A. Hess, MD, can relieve your back pain, neck pain, or other chronic pain for anywhere from 6-24 months. Call the Fullerton, California, office, or request an appointment online today.

Radiofrequency Ablation Q & A

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is an effective minimally invasive solution for back pain, neck pain, neuropathy pain, and other kinds of chronic pain. In this procedure, Dr. Hess uses radiofrequency energy impulses to deactivate the nerves causing your pain. Dr. Hess offers two types of radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat and cold to deaden nerves.

Is radiofrequency ablation right for me?

Dr. Hess carefully evaluates your pain-causing condition and considers your medical history to determine whether radiofrequency ablation is a good choice for you. Radiofrequency ablation can be quite effective for back, neck, neuropathy, and other kinds of chronic pain.

In general, patients who experience significant relief after spinal injections or other injections may be a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation. Although injections are quite effective for many pain sufferers, you may need a longer-lasting solution, and that's where radiofrequency ablation can come in. 

If you’ve never had spinal injections for pain, Dr. Hess may perform a diagnostic pain receptor injection to make sure that radiofrequency ablation is the right treatment for you. 

How do hot and cold radiofrequency differ?

With heat radiofrequency (the traditional method), Dr. Hess numbs the treatment area and then uses a pair of ultrathin needles to deliver radiofrequency energy to the nerves. The energy generates heat that creates lesions, thereby deactivating the nerves.

With cold radiofrequency, Dr. Hess uses an insulated water-cooled electrode to deliver measured ionic heat. This deactivates the nerves by making spherical lesions that deactivate the nerve. 

Dr. Hess typically uses X-ray guidance to ensure the ideal delivery of radiofrequency energy during your treatment. 

What happens after my radiofrequency ablation?

You'll be able to return home shortly after your procedure, so be sure to arrange for a loved one to drive you home. Most patients only wait a few days before returning to normal activity levels. Generally, you’ll enjoy significant pain relief within one to three weeks. 

How long does the pain relief last after radiofrequency ablation?

Everyone is different, but, in general, most patients have six months to two years of significant pain relief following radiofrequency ablation. 

Carl A. Hess, MD, has 30 years of experience in radiofrequency ablation and superior skills that deliver optimal pain relief. Call the office or request your appointment online today.