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.


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.

Coding recommendations

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.

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