The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Vagus nerve stimulation for treatment-resistant depression in December 2009. NICE is currently updating this guidance. The new guidance will be published shortly. Until then the NHS should continue to follow the recommendations outlined in the current version of the guidance. The Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC) will consider this procedure review 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.
Status In progress
Process IP
ID number 778
Description The aim of implanted vagus nerve stimulation for treatment-resistant depression is to reduce symptoms and improve mood by periodic stimulation of the vagus nerve. The procedure is done with the patient under general or local anaesthesia. An incision is made on the left side of the neck and the left vagus nerve is identified. A stimulator electrode is put around the nerve and the leads of the electrode are guided under the skin to the left chest wall. They are attached to a pulse generator unit, which is implanted into a subcutaneous pocket. The stimulator settings can be adjusted or turned off using an external (wireless) programming device

Provisional Schedule

Expected publication 05 August 2020

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Key events during the development of the guidance:

Date Update
23 January 2020 - 20 February 2020 Interventional procedure consultation

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