Microwave ablation for the treatment of liver metastases

NICE interventional procedure guidance [IPG406] Published date:

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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Microwave ablation for the treatment of liver metastases.

This document replaces previous guidance on Microwave ablation for the treatment of metastases in the liver (interventional procedure guidance IP220).

  • Description

    Microwave ablation is a procedure that uses heat from microwave energy to destroy cancer cells. It can be used to treat cancer that has spread (metastasised) to the liver from other parts of the body, usually from the colon or rectum The procedure can be performed during open abdominal surgery, by using ‘keyhole’ surgery (where specialised instruments are inserted through small cuts in the abdomen) or by needle puncture through the skin. Whichever method is used, special needles are inserted into the tumour(s) and microwave energy is used to heat the tumour and destroy the cancer cells.

  • OPCS4.6 Code(s)

    Open procedure:

    J03.2 Destruction of lesion of liver NEC

    Y13.7 Microwave destruction of lesion of organ NOC


    Percutaneous procedure:

    J12.7 Percutaneous microwave ablation of lesion of liver


    Laparoscopic procedure:

    J08.3 Endoscopic microwave ablation of lesion of liver using laparoscope

    Note: A code from category Y53.- Approach to organ under image control may also be assigned to these procedures if image control has been used. Codes in category Y53.- are used as secondary codes. If the method of image control is unspecified, Y53.9 Unspecified approach to organ under image control is assigned.

    In addition the ICD-10 code C78.7 Secondary malignant neoplasm of liver and intrahepatic bile duct 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.  www.connectingforhealth.co.uk/clinicalcoding

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