Information for the public

This procedure should not be used. The evidence shows that it is not safe and does not work for neuropathic pain.

Neuropathic pain (nerve pain) can happen when damage to nerves affects pain signals to the brain. In this procedure, the patient lies inside an MRI scanner with a frame attached to their shaved head, and chilled water is circulated around the outside of the head to keep it cool. Focused ultrasound is then delivered to a small part of the brain (in the thalamus) responsible for transmitting pain signals to destroy it. The whole procedure takes about 3 hours. The aim is to relieve the pain.

Your healthcare professional should talk to you about other treatment options.

NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-3167-5

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