Information for the public

This procedure should not be used. The evidence shows that it is not safe and does not work for ventilator-dependent chronic respiratory failure caused by motor neurone disease.

Some patients with motor neurone disease (also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS) need a mechanical ventilator to help them breathe. Intramuscular diaphragm stimulation involves keyhole abdominal surgery (laparoscopy) to implant electrodes into the diaphragm. Wires from the electrodes run under the skin to a battery-operated electrical stimulation system, which causes the diaphragm to contract as in normal breathing. The aim of the procedure is to strengthen the diaphragm, allowing patients to breathe without a ventilator and to improve their quality of life.

Your healthcare professional should talk to you about other treatment options.

NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2684-8

This page was last updated: