The Intracept® procedure is a cutting-edge solution for treatment-resistant lower back pain. It’s FDA-approved for people who have suffered pain for at least six months and who haven’t found relief with other treatments.
Using radiofrequency ablation, the Intracept procedure targets nerve pain at the source and stops pain signals from reaching your brain. It’s minimally invasive, but if you’re scheduled for the procedure, it’s normal to have questions.
Eric Fanaee, MD, specializes in the Intracept procedure at his practice — with locations in Bethpage, Smithtown, and West Islip, New York. In this post, find out what you can expect before, during, and after your Intracept procedure.
Preparing for your Intracept procedure
Dr. Fanaee helps you decide if you’re a candidate during an Intracept consultation. At your appointment, he does an exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your symptoms.
In general, you may be a good candidate if you’ve had lower back pain for at least six months and you still have pain after exhausting other treatment options. To confirm his recommendation, Dr. Fanaee may order an MRI or other medical imaging of your spine to pinpoint the cause of your pain.
If you choose the Intracept procedure, our team gets you scheduled and gives you personalized preparation instructions. On the day of your procedure, remember to wear loose, comfortable clothing and to bring someone with you to drive you home.
During the Intracept procedure
When you arrive at the office, our team checks you in and helps you get settled in your procedure room. The Intracept procedure entails anesthesia — you’ll be awake, but you won’t feel pain and you may not remember much about the procedure itself.
Dr. Fanaee makes a small incision along your vertebrae. He uses guided imaging to position the Intracept cannula in your vertebral bone and access your basivertebral nerve.
Once the cannula is in place, Dr. Fanaee directs a small radiofrequency probe to your basivertebral nerve. He gently heats the nerve and destroys it, effectively reducing pain sensations from the nerve to your brain.
If you need more than one vertebrae treated, Dr. Fanaee moves to the next bone and repeats the process. Each vertebrae takes about 15 minutes to treat, and the entire procedure takes around one hour.
Because the Intracept procedure is minimally invasive, it doesn’t involve an overnight stay. We monitor you immediately after the procedure, and a friend or family member can drive you home later the same day.
Recovering from your Intracept procedure
Dr. Fanaee and our team review the results of your procedure before you leave our office. Once you recover from the anesthesia, you’re free to go home.
We recommend taking the remainder of the day off to rest. You may feel minor soreness around your incisions, but they’re so small that they don’t require stitches. You can expect to feel better within a week, and you can resume your usual activities at that time.
You may have follow-up appointments scheduled with our team in the weeks after your Intracept procedure. As you heal, you should notice significant pain improvement and long-lasting pain relief within about two weeks. For some people, that relief lasts more than five years after the Intracept procedure.
Are you tired of living with chronic back pain? When other treatments have failed, the Intracept procedure could be the solution for you. Book a consultation with Dr. Fanaee and our team online, or call our appointment request line at 631-265-2020.