The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Laser correction of refractive error following non-refractive ophthalmic surgery.


Refractive errors include common conditions such as myopia (short sightedness) and hyperopia (long sightedness) that impede the accuracy of vision without spectacles or contact lenses.

Laser surgery aims to establish visual accuracy by changing the shape of the cornea (the clear outer layer at the front of the eye), so that light rays are more precisely directed onto the retina.

Coding recommendations

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK):

C44.4 Photorefractive keratectomy

Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK):

C44.5 Laser subepithelial keratomileusis

Laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK):

C44.2 Laser in situ keratomileusis

In addition ICD-10 codes are assigned depending on the specific refractive error and the original procedure performed which caused the refractive error.

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