UK establishes national breast implant register

UK establishes national breast implant register
UK establishes national breast implant register

Following the conviction of the founder of a French breast implant company that issued thousands of faulty, toxic implants to women across the globe, the UK government is developing a national register to record every breast augmentation procedure performed in the country. 

According to The Guardian, the British government was sparked into action by the recent trial of Poly Implant Prothèse, which sold nearly 400,000 breast implants with industrial-grade silicone, leading to ruptures and other complications. About 50,000 women in the UK were affected by the French implants. 

Officials told the news source that there was inadequate record-keeping of breast augmentation procedures in the past, so many UK women were unaware that they had the faulty implants or were unable to find out when the scandal broke in 2010. The UK government is hoping to change that with these new guidelines, which will log the type of implant a patient receives in a register similar to the ones already existing for hip and knee replacements. 

The news outlet reported that when Parliament returns to session in 2014, there will be further discussion on plastic surgery regulations, such as the potential banning of aggressive marketing campaigns that include tactics such as mother-daughter deals and breast implant competitions. 

"For too long, the cosmetics industry has been completely unregulated and there are too many tales of women who have been exploited and of lives ruined by rogue cosmetic firms and practitioners," Daniel Poulter, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, said, as quoted by the news source. "This has to change."

Poulter added that the British government will also establish formal training courses for plastic surgeons - the first time these have been established in UK history.

More than 16,000 with PIP implants had to have them removed since 2010 due to unsafe conditions, The New York Times reported. While the sale of the implants was widespread, impacting women from Western Europe to South America, they had not been sold in the US.