The NHS breast implant registry

In October 2016, the Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry was launched in England.

This is a database for all breast implants used in breast reconstructive or cosmetic augmentation procedures in England.

It has been introduced by the Department of Health and has been designed with the purpose of recording the details of any person who has a breast implant, whether in the private sector or the NHS

The launch of the registry follows recommendations from Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of NHS England, in his review on the regulation of cosmetic interventions in England.

This review was a result of concerns that were raised following the PIP breast implant scandal in 2012. This was a particularly difficult time for patients and surgeons, as it became apparent there was no national record of breast implants used in UK, therefore patients who required advice and possibly removal of their PIP implants could not be identified readily.

The NHS implant registry will allow the identification of patients so they can be contacted if a particular safety concern about a type of breast implant, or a product recall occurs. Any specific complications relating to particular types of implants are also likely to be identified.

All surgeons using breast implants in their practice have been invited to register with the database, so they can input their patients’ details after obtaining the appropriate consent.

This is a specially designed consent document issued by the Department of Health, different to the consent for the actual surgical procedure itself that the surgeon would regularly ask their patient to sign.

I registered with the NHS implant registry as soon as it launched in October 2016 as a recognised and fully accredited Consultant Plastic Reconstructive Surgeon using implants in my practice.

I have therefore been granted access to register my patients’ details after they have consented to this.

I would advise everyone who consults with a Cosmetic Surgeon regarding implant augmentation surgery to enquire with their surgeon whether they and the hospital they practice have registered with the national implant database and ask whether their data will be entered if they wish so.

Remember, the database was created for your protection to give you the assurance that your implant details are recorded centrally and not only in the private hospital’s records.

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