Thousands of UK Breast Implant Patients Missing from Registry | Breast implant scandal
Thousands of women are missing from the breast implant registry set up in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal, new figures suggest.
The list was recommended after thousands of women were fitted with faulty implants, supplied by the now defunct French company Poly Implant Prothesis (PIP). The list records the details of each person who has had breast implant surgery in the event of a product recall or other safety issue.
Almost 60,000 patients in England and Scotland have been added to NHS Digital’s breast implant and cosmetic register since its inception in 2016, allowing them to be traced if their implants are affected by safety concerns. Northern Ireland joined the register this year.
New data for 2020, released on Tuesday, shows operations on 10,500 people were recorded in 2020. However, officials estimate that this is only about half (55%) of the number of cases, suggesting that around 8,485 people were not added. This means that they may not be found if their implants later prove to be defective.
Thousands of patients with breast implants are now being asked to ensure that their contact details are recorded in the registry in order to protect their health.
Lee Martin, NHS breast surgeon and chair of the Breast Implants and Cosmetic Registry Steering Group, said: ‘We want all patients, past and present, to know the registry exists and to make sure they are included. by talking to their surgeons.
“As a surgeon, I know firsthand the importance of including patient information in the registry. This is essential for providing good patient care, and gives patients the confidence that they will be followed up if there are any problems with their breast implants in the future.
In addition to containing details of patients and their implants, the registry also helps identify trends and complications related to specific implants.
Alison Lattimer, Patient Representative in the Steering Group, added: “As someone who has had reconstructive surgery for breast cancer myself, I understand how crucial the registry is to protect the future health of people undergoing breast implant surgery. I urge anyone who is considering having reconstructive surgery, or those who have done so in the past, to check with their surgeons and make sure they are on the registry. “
PIP implants were withdrawn from the UK market in 2010 after it was discovered that they had been filled with non-medical grade silicone intended for use in mattresses. An estimated 50,000 women in the UK have been fitted with implants, but the exact figure is not known.