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The UK Government and NHS have accepted the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review’s recommendation to suspend the use of vaginal meshes.

The vaginally inserted surgical meshes, indicated for stress urinary incontinence, will not be used in the country until the determination of certain conditions to minimise the associated risk of injury.

In January, the UK agreed to a large-scale audit into the recovery of women who received vaginal mesh implants, to understand the scale of complications caused by these devices.

The government now says that the surgical meshes can be used only if no other alternatives are available. However, the implantation must follow a comprehensive consultation between patient and clinician, along with continuous oversight and governance.

“Our new approach will radically reduce the number of women have vaginal meshes inserted.”

UK Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said: “Our new approach, with a high vigilance programme of restricted practice, will radically reduce the number of women have vaginal meshes inserted, and ensure that when it does happen, it is only after close consultation with their clinician and with extremely thorough clinical oversight and governance.”

The interim recommendation by the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review comes after the organisation conducted an interaction programme with patients and patient groups.

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Initiated in February this year, the review is intended to investigate all primodos, sodium valproate and surgical mesh cases.

The review is also calling for the extension of the suspension to vaginal meshes intended for pelvic organ prolapse treatment.

Currently, NHS England is collaborating with other health agencies to quickly and safely pause procedures for vaginally inserted surgical meshes.