1.1 Current evidence on the safety and efficacy of percutaneous endoscopic laser thoracic discectomy does not appear adequate for this procedure to be used without special arrangements for consent and for audit or research.
1.2 Clinicians wishing to undertake percutaneous endoscopic laser thoracic discectomy should take the following action.
Inform the clinical governance leads in their Trusts.
Ensure that patients understand the uncertainty about the procedure's safety and efficacy and provide them with clear written information. Use of the Institute's information for the public is recommended.
Audit and review clinical outcomes of all patients having percutaneous endoscopic laser thoracic discectomy.
1.3 Further research will be useful in reducing the current uncertainty and clinicians are encouraged to collect longer-term follow-up data. The Institute may review the procedure upon publication of further evidence.