Abdominal Pain



How Can an Abdominal Pain Specialist Help You?

Chronic abdominal pain or recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) can interfere with your life and affect your everyday activities. If you experience severe pain anywhere between the chest and groin at least three times over 3 months, you should consult an abdominal pain doctor to identify the causes and figure out a treatment plan that allows you to go back to your normal life.

Possible causes
Constipation, cancer, menopause, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety, depression, lactose intolerance, urinary infections, parasites.

Functional abdominal pain
When there’s no evident cause for RAP, it’s called functional abdominal pain. This type of pain can increase with stress and other psychological factors.

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What you Should Know About Abdominal Pain

Symptoms
Sharp, severe pain. It can last for a few minutes or several hours and can sometimes occur with other symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches.

Alert signs
If you also feel the loss of appetite, high fever, nausea; or if you lose weight or start noticing blood in your urine or stool, it could be a sign of an important medical problem.

RAP in children
Chronic abdominal pain is also common among children between 5 and 16. In these cases, pain is usually caused by lactose intolerance, as well as psychological factors like stress.

Treating Abdominal Pain With Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Abdominal pain can vary from patient to patient. Your doctor needs to analyze your symptoms and perform the necessary tests to accurately diagnose your condition and define a treatment plan. One of the procedures one of our abdominal pain specialists might recommend is radiofrequency ablation. This procedure uses radio waves to stop nerves from sending pain signals to the brain.

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Important Facts About Radiofrequency Ablation

Short procedure



A minimally invasive procedure, you can go home in a few hours.



Duration



The effects of RFA can last for several months and even for a year.



Other conditions



RFA can be used to treat back pain, neck pain, and other conditions.



FAQ About Radiofrequency Ablation

What nerves are treated to alleviate abdominal pain?


The splanchnic nerves send pain signals from the stomach, kidneys, liver, and other abdominal organs to the brain. These nerves can be treated using nerve blocks or radiofrequency ablation.

Treating splanchnic nerves has been proved effective in providing long-lasting pain relief to patients with chronic abdominal pain, even in cancer-related cases.



Am I a good candidate for splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation?


This procedure is a good alternative for patients with chronic abdominal pain who haven’t found pain relief in traditional therapies, such as medications. It can also help them elude unwanted side-effects, like dizziness and nausea. In some cases, RFA can even be the best option for those who want to avoid surgery.

Radiofrequency ablation is a very safe, minimally invasive procedure, and one of the most effective ways to treat persistent abdominal pain. Nevertheless, your pain doctor will determine if this type of treatment is the best option for you.



What will I feel during and after the procedure?


The doctor uses a local anesthetic, so you don’t feel any pain during the RFA.

You can feel some temporary soreness and discomfort after the procedure. This usually lasts two or three days.



How is the RFA procedure performed to treat abdominal pain?


Radiofrequency ablation in splanchnic nerves treats this specific area without affecting other nerves.

As in treating other types of pain, during this procedure one of our specialists injects a local anesthetic and then uses a special needle to send an electrical current that heats the nerve and stops it from sending pain signals to the nervous system.

This treatment produces long-term pain relief for patients with chronic abdominal pain.



How long does the recovery take?


You can usually go back to your normal activities in 24 hours. During this time, you must follow all the instructions your doctor gives you.

When will I start to feel relief?


You will feel pain relief about 2 to 3 weeks after the procedure.



Who can’t get an RFA?


This procedure should not be performed if you are pregnant, if you have bleeding problems, or if you have an infection

What are the risks of RFA?


Most patients don’t experience any complications after this procedure. Nevertheless, there is a risk of bruising, swelling, and infection.




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