Radiofrequency ablation of varicose veins

NICE interventional procedures guidance [IPG8] 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 radiofrequency ablation of varicose veins.

NICE has published a clinical guideline on Varicose veins in the legs (NICE clinical guideline 168, 2013)

  • Description

    Symptomatic venous insufficiency is common, affecting 1-15% of adult men and 20-25% of adult women. Saphenous vein insufficiency is the most common form of venous insufficiency in patients presenting with symptoms, which include pain, oedema, fatigue, varicose veins and venous ulcers. 

    Radiofrequency ablation of varicose veins involves heating the wall of the vein using a bipolar generator and catheters with sheathable electrodes

    The saphenous vein is accessed above or below the knee either percutaneously via an intravenous cannula/venipuncture sheath or via a small incision. The catheter is manually withdrawn at 2.5-3cm/minute, and the vein wall temperature is maintained at 85°C.

  • OPCS4.6 Code(s)

    L88.2 Radiofrequency ablation of varicose vein of leg

     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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