The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on thoracoscopic epicardial radiofrequency ablation for atrial fibrillation.

  • Description

    Atrial fibrillation is a condition that affects the heart, causing an irregular pulse. It occurs when the electrical impulses controlling the heartbeat become disorganised, so that the heart beats irregularly and too fast. When this happens, the heart cannot efficiently pump blood around the body. This may cause symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness and fainting. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of blood clots and stroke. In thoracoscopic epicardial radiofrequency ablation, selected areas of the heart are destroyed using heat, with the aim of preventing the occurrence or conduction of abnormal electrical activity. The procedure is done through small incisions in the chest and using a camera.

  • OPCS4.6 Code(s)

    K52.8 Other specified open operations on conducting system of heart

    Y74.2 Thoracoscopic approach to thoracic cavity NEC  

    Y11.4 Radiofrequency controlled thermal destruction of  organ NOC

    Z33.6 Atrium of heart


    In addition ICD-10 code I48.X Atrial fibrillation and flutter would be recorded.

    The NHS Classifications Service of NHS Connecting for Health is the central definitive source for clinical coding guidance and determines the coding standards associated with the classifications (OPCS-4 and ICD-10) to be used across the NHS.   The NHS Classifications Service and NICE work collaboratively to ensure the most appropriate classification codes are provided.

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