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Splanchnic Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation 

The splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation procedure is a minimally invasive technique that uses heat to destroy the splanchnic nerves that carry pain signals from the upper abdomen to the brain. It is used to treat chronic abdominal pain, 

Why Splanchnic Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation is done? 

Splanchnic Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation is done  to relieve chronic or cancer-related upper abdominal pain that does not respond to other treatments

The following are the common conditions for which Splanchnic Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation is done

  1. Chronic pancreatitis pain

  2. Pain due to upper abdominal Cancer. 

  3. Abdominal "angina" associated with visceral arterial insufficiency

  4. Splanchnic nerve block can also serve as an alternative to celiac plexus block for patients who have failed to obtain relief from it

How is splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation performed?

Splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation is performed under sedation or local anesthesia. A needle and an electrode are inserted near the splanchnic nerves, which are located in front of the spine at the level of the T11 and T12 vertebrae. A radiofrequency current is then applied through the electrode to create a lesion on the nerves and block their pain transmission

Is splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation a painful procedure?

As the Splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation is performed under sedation or local anaesthesia. It causes no/minimal pain during the procedure. 

How long does the pain relief last after splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation? 

The duration of pain relief after splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation varies depending on the individual and the underlying condition. Though the pain relief is long in most of the patients,  Some studies have reported pain relief lasting from 3 months to more than 2 years. The procedure can be repeated if the pain returns in future. 

What are the benefits of splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation?

 The benefits of splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation are:


  • Long-Term Pain Relief -  It can stop or reduce pain from chronic pancreatitis or cancer-related abdominal conditions that do not respond to other treatments

  • Improved Quality of Life - It can improve function and quality of life

  • Reduce the need for pain medications 

It is a safe and effective technique that has a low risk of complications and can provide long-term pain relief. 

What are the risks  of splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation? 

Complications of Splanchnic nerve RF are rare,  Though the following complications have been reported. Hyperesthesia, superficial skin infections over the injection site, inadvertent injury to surrounding structures, postprocedure pain, vasovagal reaction, allergic reaction, hypotension

How much time is required to perform the splanchnic nerve radiofrequency ablation? 

It usually takes 15 to 45 minutes to perform the procedure for most patients. 

Can Splanchnic Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation done in day care? 

For most of the patients the procedure can be done in day care, for some cases a single day admission may be required. 


Dr Debjyoti Dutta Doing Splanchnic Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation 


Oblique View Splanchnic Nerve Radio Frequency Ablation 


Lateral View Splanchnic Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation 

Radio Frequency Machine used for Splanchnic Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation

RFA of Splanchnic Nerve done by Dr Debjyoti Dutta for a lady suffering from chronic pancreatitis having excruciating pain, not relieved with multiple pain medications and injections

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