The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on intralesional photocoagulation of subcutaneous congenital vascular disorders in September 2004. 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 March 2008 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.


Intralesional photocoagulation is a laser treatment for people with congenital abnormalities of the blood vessels of the skin (including haemangiomas, port wine stains and arteriovenous malformations). Often these abnormalities require no treatment, as they may spontaneously resolve or cause only mild cosmetic problems. Laser treatment is often recommended for lesions near the eyes or orifices, or if the lesions bleed, ulcerate or become infected.

External laser treatment of vascular abnormalities may not be effective, because the laser beam does not penetrate far beneath the skin. Intralesional photocoagulation involves inserting a laser fibre into the lesion to deliver the light deep within it.

Coding and clinical classification codes for this guidance.