Treating neuropathic pain using Qutenza treatment
In this article, Dr Victor Mendis, Consultant Pain Medicine, explains how he uses Qutenza patches to treat localised neuropathic pain; a treatment he pioneered and uses to treat patients in Phoenix Hospital Chelmsford
What is Qutenza treatment?
Qutenza is a prescription anaesthetic that is prescribed by a Pain Management Consultant to relieve nerve pain. I pioneered the use of this treatment in 2010 and now have many years of experience using Qutenza to successfully relieve nerve pain.
What type of conditions can Qutenza help to treat?
I use Qutenza treatment to treat patients who suffer with localised nerve pain. This is usually associated with peripheral nerve damage, (i.e. nerves located outside the spinal cord and brain). Symptoms include shooting pains, burning or stabbing pains and the feeling of ‘pins and needles’ that often occurs in the hands & feet. Causes of peripheral nerve pain are varied in injury following an accident/fall and medical conditions such as diabetes or scar tissue post shingles.
How exactly does Qutenza treatment work to reduce pain?
A Qutenza patch containing capsaicin is applied to the most painful part of the affected area for approximately one hour. A slight burning sensation may be felt as the capsaicin targets the damaged nerves that are causing the pain.
How does Qutenza treatment compare to other capsaicin based treatments?
The most common capsaicin treatment is capsaicin cream, a topical maximum strength pain relief cream. These can only be used for quick pain relief. Qutenza offers a longer term pain relief for treating neuropathic pain – something other capsaicin treatments cannot do.
How many Qutenza treatment sessions are required?
It varies from patient to patient and depends on the level of pain relief experienced prior to the first treatment. If further pain relief is required, then a patient can have up to 3 sessions, but these need to be 3 to 4 months apart. If there is no pain relief after three sessions then a repeat course of treatments will not be prescribed and other treatment options will be considered.
Is private Qutenza treatment widely available?
Phoenix Hospital Chelmsford is one of the few hospitals in Essex that offers the Qutenza treatment privately.
Is Qutenza treament covered by private medical insurance?
As the treatment is pain management, Qutenza is covered by Private Medical Insurers, however its recommended that the patient checks their policy beforehand.
What is the price of the treatment for self-paying patients?
The patient is required to have a consultation with Dr Victor Mendis to see if they require Qutenza. The treatment starts from £600 per session, however if you require further sessions then a discount is applied and will be £375.
Dr Victor Mendis runs a regular pain clinic at Phoenix Hospital Chelmsford. To arrange an appointment call 01245 801234 or to make an enquiry click here.