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About interventional procedures

An interventional procedure is a procedure used for diagnosis or for treatment that involves:

  • making a cut or a hole to gain access to the inside of a patient's body - for example, when carrying out an operation or inserting a tube into a blood vessel, or
  • gaining access to a body cavity (such as the digestive system, lungs, womb or bladder) without cutting into the body - for example, examining or carrying out treatment on the inside of the stomach using an instrument inserted via the mouth, or
  • using electromagnetic radiation (which includes X-rays, lasers, gamma-rays and ultraviolet light) - for example, using a laser to treat eye problems.

NICE interventional procedures guidance covers:

  • the safety of the procedure
  • whether it works well enough for routine use
  • whether special arrangements are needed for patient consent

Aim of interventional procedures guidance

NICE interventional procedures guidance protects patients' safety and supports people in the NHS in the process of introducing new procedures. Many of the procedures that NICE investigates are new, but we also look at more established procedures if there is uncertainty about their safety or how well they work.

By providing guidance on how safe procedures are and how well they work, NICE makes it possible for new treatments and tests to be introduced into the NHS in a responsible way.

Versions of interventional procedures

NICE produces two versions of its interventional procedures:

  • the quick reference guide presents recommendations in a suitable format for health professionals
  • information for the public is written for using suitable language for people without specialist medical knowledge.

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This page was last updated: 22 September 2011

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.