Mesh for vaginal wall prolapse should only be used in the context of research, says NICE

Updated advice says current evidence on the safety of the procedure shows there are serious, but well-recognised safety concerns.

The evidence for long term efficacy is inadequate in quality and quantity. Therefore, the procedure should only be used in the context of research. This does not constitute a ban on the use of the procedure, as has been suggested in some media reports.

NICE has published eight pieces of interventional procedure guidance (IPG) on mesh. They give advice on the use of mesh as a treatment for stress urinary incontinence (SUI), or pelvic organ prolapse (POP).

This publication focuses on the use of mesh for vaginal wall prolapse, which is a type of POP. It is the last of eight IPGs to be updated.

Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive said: “Our updated advice on surgical procedures using mesh is based on the latest evidence available, which has been considered in the light of the serious concerns expressed by individual patients and patient groups.  We emphasise the importance of patient consent and data collection and we are confident that our advice will give patients and health professionals the right information to make treatment decisions.”

IPGs look at possible risks and benefits of procedures. More details on the recommendations NICE makes is here.