The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Vagus nerve stimulation for treatment-resistant depression.

  • Description

    Depression is associated with feelings of sadness, despair, helplessness, hopelessness and lack of interest in life. People with severe depression may be unable to eat or sleep or to take part in social activities, and they may become completely withdrawn. Vagus nerve stimulation aims to improve mood regulation and reduce depression by stimulating the nerve in the neck that carries signals to the brain areas involved. A generator implanted under the skin in the chest area is used to provide electrical stimulation to the nerve.

  • OPCS4.6 Code(s)

    A33.1 Introduction of neurostimulator into cranial nerve
    Z04.4 Vagus nerve (x)

    In addition an ICD-10 code from category F32 Depressive episode orF33 Recurrent depressive disorder is assigned.

    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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