Nerve ablation can be done in different ways. For example, it can be done using heat, cold, or chemicals. What the procedure is called depends on how it is done. For example, it may be called radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, neurotomy, or rhizotomy. Your doctor will first identify the nerve or nerves that are sending pain signals to your brain. You will have a test that uses a nerve block, which numbs specific nerves, to help your doctor find the nerves that are causing your pain.
During the procedure, you may have X-rays to pinpoint where to put the medical tool that will be used. After you receive a local anesthetic, the doctor places the medical tool under your skin through which the nerve tissue is removed or destroyed. Depending on how the ablation is done, it may cause you to feel a buzzing or tingling sensation.
This procedure is done in an operating room and takes between 20 minutes to 1 hour or longer depending on how many, and which, nerves are being blocked.