A 41-year-old member asked:
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what are the normal side effects of radiofrequency ablation?

4 doctor answers
Dr. Andrew Lawrence
23 years experience Cardiac Electrophysiology
Side effects: Typically there are none. Some people have chest or groin discomfort for a short time (days or weeks) after the procedure. I have also had quite a few patients complain of palpitations (not typically sustained fast heart rates) afterward. This usually gets much better very quickly.
Answered on Aug 19, 2018
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Dr. William Scott
39 years experience Pediatric Cardiology
Usually none: Radiofrequency(rf) ablation usually creates a tiny scar in the heart, only a few millimeters in diameter. It has no effect on the overall heart function. The incision sites for the catheters are usually about 1/4 of an inch and heal within a few days. Rarely (<1%) normal parts of the heart's electrical system can be damaged during an rf ablation such that a permanent pacemaker may be necessary.
Answered on Oct 4, 2016
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Dr. Ron Jones
Dr. Ron Jones answered
45 years experience Family Medicine
Pain: I assume you are speaking of spinal medial branch facet joint ablation. Most patients understandably want immediate relief. Some do get that. Others do not. Some times it takes a couple of weeks before you notice a difference. It does not work on some people. But the "normal" side effect is continued discomfort up to a couple of weeks. If pain exceeds that it probably is not going to work.
Answered on Jun 15, 2017
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1 comment
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Dr. Charles Cattano
39 years experience Gastroenterology
Could the patient be speaking of RFA of Barrett's esophagus instead?
Dec 19, 2013
Dr. Qamar Khan
17 years experience Pain Management
Generally Good: Radiofrequency procedures work well if a previous facet injection or medial branch block was performed with greater than 75-80% relief that was obtained. As with anything there are failures, but quite low if the block worked well. Risks are the same as with any spine procedure, no different. Rare that you would be worse off afterwards.
Answered on Apr 14, 2014

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