The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on endoscopic laser foraminoplasty in December 2003. In accordance with the Interventional Procedures Programme Process Guide, guidance on procedures with special arrangements are reviewed 3 years after publication and the procedure is reassessed if important new evidence is available.
The guidance was considered for reassessment in October 2011 and it was concluded that NICE will not be updating this guidance at this stage. However, if you believe there is new evidence which should warrant a review of our guidance, please contact us via the email address below.
This procedure is mainly used to treat back pain caused by a prolapsed intervertebral disc. Approximately 2-5% of people suffer acute back pain per annum, while 0.5% of these have pain and neurologic conditions requiring surgery.
This endoscope-assisted laser technique is used to widen the lumbar exit route foramina in the spine. A laser is inserted to ablate portions of the intervertebral disc which have protruded.
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.