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.

  • Description

    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.

  • OPCS4.6 Code(s)

    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.

    The NHS Classifications Service of the Health and Social Care Information Centre 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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