The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Deep brain stimulation for intractable trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias.

NICE has also published guidance on deep brain stimulation for refractory chronic pain syndromes (excluding headache) (NICE interventional procedure guidance 382, March 2011).


Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TACs) are characterised by frequent severe headache attacks that last for short periods. The headaches are usually accompanied by tears, sweating, flushing, and a runny nose on the same side of the head as the pain. Deep brain stimulation has been introduced to treat TACs that do not respond to other treatments. It aims to mask the pain by delivering electrical impulses to a precise area of the brain using an electrode.

Coding recommendations

A09.1 Implantation of neurostimulator into brain

Y53.3 Approach to organ under computed tomography scan control

Includes: Approach to organ under stereotactic control


Y53.7 Approach to organ under magnetic resonance imaging control

In addition an ICD-10 code from category G44.- Other headache syndromes or code  R51.X Headache is assigned.

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