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NICE guidance overlooks serious risks of mesh surgery

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l1537 (Published 02 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1537
  1. Harriet Pike
  1. Cambridge

New national guidance on urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women neglects the serious risks associated with the use of mesh in surgery, MPs and campaigners have warned.

The final recommendations of the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, published this week,1 acknowledge that use of mesh surgery to treat these conditions is subject to a period of “high vigilance restriction.” However, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh Implants said in a press statement that the guidelines “disregard mesh-injured women’s experiences by stating that there is no long-term evidence of adverse effects.”

The guidelines also seem to contradict NICE advice issued at the end of 2017 that mesh for vaginal prolapse should be restricted to research because of safety concerns.23 No such statement appears in the latest guidance.

Owen Smith …

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