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COOLIEF® Radiofrequency Ablation: What to Expect

COOLIEF® Radiofrequency Ablation: What to Expect

When you suffer from chronic pain, you need effective treatments to relieve pain and maintain full mobility and quality of life. Cooled radiofrequency ablation (RFA) treatment can address chronic pain with minimal invasiveness, often with better results than other treatment options.

At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, interventional pain management specialist Dr. Nichelle Renk provides both cooled and regular RFA. She uses the state-of-the-art COOLIEF® system for cooled RFA from her Anchorage, Alaska, office.

What does getting cooled RFA treatment feel like? What kind of results can you look forward to? How does COOLIEF technology work? Learn what to expect during and after your RFA treatment with Dr. Renk and the Alpenglow Pain & Wellness team.

Deciding on cooled RFA

Patients who have chronic back or neck pain, or arthritic joint pain in areas like the knees and shoulders, need effective pain relief support. You may not be ready for surgery, and pain management strategies centered on medication can create addiction risks.

Instead of invasive surgical approaches like shoulder or knee joint replacement, RFA treatment addresses your chronic pain via your nervous system. After RFA therapy, targeted nerves are no longer able to relay pain signals to your brain.

If you’re living with chronic knee or shoulder pain due to a condition like osteoarthritis, or with spinal pain due to inflammation or issues like nerve entrapment, RFA treatment can delay or even prevent the need for surgery. 

Instead, RFA uses minimally invasive heat energy to deactivate nerves in an overly painful area.

Cooled RFA offers you additional benefits, with circulating water continuously providing soothing stimulation for the treatment area during RFA. This approach allows Dr. Renk to address a larger treatment area than traditional RFA.

Dr. Renk helps her patients who have chronic pain to decide on a treatment plan that meets all of their needs. Talk to Dr. Renk about whether RFA could be your interventional pain management solution, or could form a key part of your treatment plan.

Experiencing COOLIEF treatment

Let’s review what you can expect when you come in for your COOLIEF RFA appointment at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness. Your treatment takes place on an outpatient basis, meaning that you head home after treatment, and have only minimal sedation.

For cooled RFA treatment, you rest comfortably on your abdomen on an X-ray table. Dr. Renk uses local anesthesia to manage your continuing comfort, and can provide medication to help you stay relaxed if needed. 

With live video X-ray technology for precision guidance, Dr. Renk uses the COOLIEF conductor to deliver your treatment.

The COOLIEF conductor uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to produce ionic heating. As Dr. Renk targets specific nerves, the device thermally stuns them, effectively deactivating them. Insulation around the conductor needle prevents the RF energy from affecting nerves that aren’t targeted.

Your treatment takes about an hour. After your treatment session, you should plan on some light downtime, avoiding vigorous activity for about a day. Plan on organizing a ride home from Alpenglow Pain & Wellness after your RFA appointment.

Chronic pain relief with COOLIEF RFA

Chronic pain activates your nerves and brain in the same pattern over the long term. This can become a cyclical issue; even when underlying causes are dealt with, chronic pain remains. RFA releases your body from that type of pain cycle and can provide lasting pain relief.

You may have some post-RFA side effects. Any swelling, discoloration, or bruising should fade quickly. You may notice a little bleeding around the probe insertion site. You can use over-the-counter pain medications to manage post-treatment discomfort. 

One reason for choosing COOLIEF is that cooled RFA reduces side effects like tissue inflammation around the treatment area.

Studies show that your pain relief after cooled RFA can be significant and lasting. Your full pain relief appears after 1-2 weeks and can last as long as a year. This type of treatment has a high success rate and high levels of patient satisfaction.

For more information about cooled RFA treatment with COOLIEF, contact Dr. Renk and the Alpenglow Pain & Wellness team. Book your initial consultation online or over the phone today.

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