The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Irreversible electroporation (IRE) for treating renal cancer.


Renal cancer occurs in the lining of the very small tubes in the kidney. Irreversible electroporation is a process that uses electrical pulses to kill cancer cells; it is applied directly to the tumour through special needles.

Coding recommendations

M13.8 Other specified percutaneous puncture of kidney

Y12.3 Electrochemotherapy to lesion of organ NOC

Y53.- Approach to organ under image control

In addition ICD-10 code C64.X Malignant neoplasm of kidney, except renal pelvis or C65.X Malignant neoplasm of renal pelvis or C79.0 Secondary malignant neoplasm of kidney and renal pelvis 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.

Your responsibility

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, and specifically any special arrangements relating to the introduction of new interventional procedures. 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. 

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

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. Providers should ensure that governance structures are in place to review, authorise and monitor the introduction of new devices and procedures.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)