The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Endoscopic radiofrequency therapy of the anal sphincter for faecal incontinence.


  • Description

    Faecal incontinence occurs when a person loses (often only partially) voluntary control of their bowel movements, resulting in leakage of faeces. The condition may relate to inadequate formation of the anus from birth. It can also relate to diseases of the nervous system (such as spina bifida, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis), pelvic organ prolapse, or previous pelvic surgery or radiotherapy. In women, another cause is injury to the anal canal during childbirth. In this procedure, radiofrequency energy is applied to the anal wall, with the aim of inducing muscle changes to improve muscle tone and help control bowel movement.

  • OPCS4.6 Code(s)

    H57.8 Other specified other operations on the anal sphincter to control continence

    In addition ICD-10 code R15.X Faecal incontinence is assigned. 

    The NHS Classifications Service has advised NICE that currently these are the most suitable OPCS-4 codes to describe this procedure. The OPCS-4 classification is designed to categorise procedures for analysis and it is not always possible to identify a procedure uniquely.

    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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