An intravenous (IV) line may be used during the procedure along with a local anesthetic and mild sedative to reduce any discomfort felt during RFA. You may also be awake during the process to aid in properly addressing the pain and location of the pain. Ask your doctor about specifics beforehand.
After the local anesthetic (you will be awake, but will not feel any pain) has been given, the doctor will insert a small needle into the general area where you are experiencing pain. Using X-ray, your doctor will guide the needle to the exact area. A micro-electrode will then be inserted through the needle to begin the stimulation process.
During the procedure, your doctor will ask if you are able to feel a tingling sensation. The object of the stimulation process is to help the doctor determine if the electrode is in the optimal area for treatment.
Once the needle and electrode placement are verified, a small radio-frequency current is sent through the electrode into the surrounding tissue, causing the tissue to heat. You should not feel any discomfort during the heating portion of the procedure.