What is RFT Neurotomy?


Radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFT) is the permanent or long-term inactivation of the nerve by creating lesions in the nerve or neural network through the heat obtained by high frequency electrical current. RFT is one of the most effective methods for selectively damaging nerve fibers for chronic pain treatment. All interventions planned for RFT are performed under radiological imaging.


What is RFT?

Radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFT) is the creation of lesions in the tissue by applying controlled electrical energy, depending on the temperature or the application time. A special needle, the body of which is insulated but the tip is not insulated, is inserted into the nerve tissue to be lesioned. With the needle connected to the radiofrequency device, a current occurs from the device to the tissue. Warming occurs within the tissue itself, not at the tip of the electrode. Since the tip of the electrode is inside the heated tissue, the electrode absorbs the heat until thermal equilibrium occurs between the electrode and the tissue. When this state is reached, the temperature at the tip of the probe equals the highest temperature that occurs in the tissue. Since the current spreads to the tissue from the tip of the electrode, the area where the current is the most intense, that is, the temperature is the highest, are the tissues closest to the tip of the electrode. The size of the lesion depends on the temperature and application time.

What is RTF application in trigeminal neuralgia?

The patient is placed on the fluoroscopy table in the supine position. The area to be treated is cleaned and the area is sterile and prepared. With the control of fluoroscopy (device that provides imaging using X-rays), the area where the intervention will be performed is monitored and the nerve root, where the trigeminal nerve comes out, is reached by means of a special needle, according to the characteristics of the area where the pain occurs with the appropriate technique.


After the needle is determined to be in the right place, controlled electrical energy is applied to the nerve root to create a lesion in the tissue depending on the temperature or the application time.

Who can get trigeminal RFT?

Trigeminal nerve blockage or trigeminal RFT can be applied in patients who have been treated with medication before but did not benefit.

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