NICE has been notified about this procedure and will consider it as part of its work programme. The Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC) will consider this procedure and NICE will issue an interventional procedures consultation document about its safety and efficacy for 4 weeks’ public consultation. IPAC will then review the consultation document in the light of comments received and produce a final interventional procedures document, which will be considered by NICE before guidance is issued to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you wish to be alerted to developments regarding this procedure, including the release of the consultation document, please express your interest at the top of the page.
Status In progress
Process IP
ID number 1536
Description This procedure is carried out with the patient lying supine inside an MR scanner with a stereotactic head frame attached to the shaved head. Local anaesthetic and light sedation may be used but the patient remains awake to allow reporting of improvement or adverse events to the operator during the procedure. Continuous MR imaging and thermal mapping is used to identify the target area of the brain and monitor treatment. Low power (sub-lethal) ultrasound is delivered to confirm the chosen location and then high power focused ultrasound pulses are administered to irreversibly ablate target tissue. Chilled water is circulated around the head during the treatment to prevent thermal damage to the scalp caused by the increase in bone temperature. The procedure takes approximately 3 hours and symptom relief should be immediate. The potential benefits of MRI-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy are that it is less invasive than the other existing procedures, with a faster recovery time, and that it allows testing of the effects at sub lethal doses before ablation, although unlike deep brain stimulation it can only be performed on one side.

Provisional Schedule

Expected publication 21 February 2018


Key events during the development of the guidance:

Date Update
26 October 2017 - 23 November 2017 Interventional procedure consultation

For further information on how we develop guidance, please see our page about NICE interventional procedures guidance