•  Breast implant surgery to be registered in England
    The registry will record the type of implant used in order to track possibly faulty implants

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Breast implant surgery to be registered in England

Dec 30 2013

A new register is to be started that will record every breast enlargement operation that takes place in England. Ministers have announced that a new register will soon keep track of every operation in case patients need to be contacted concerning their implants.

The announcement comes in the wake of the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) implants scare, which saw many doctors unable to tell patients whether they had received the sub-standard implants due to a lack of detailed records. 

Around 50,000 women in the UK and some 400,000 worldwide were affected by the PIP implant scandal, which saw higher than average numbers of women experiencing ruptured implants. The new registry will be used to record the type of implant used for each individual, which will ensure they are able to receive the correct treatment should a similar problem arise in future.

As breast enhancement surgery has grown in popularity, a number of practices - which can often be incredibly dangerous - have become commonplace amongst "cowboy" surgeons. The register could help to reduce these dangerous practices, highlight any surgeons that are following the rules and improve overall safety for patients.

Currently the register will only take effect in England, with Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to decide whether they will also join. Health ministers from the countries are currently weighing up the registry as an option. 

As well as improving patient records for those that have undergone the procedure, the government has also announced it will crack down on any advertising that states competition entrants can win free breast enlargement surgery. Two-for-one offers and limited-time offers within the industry will also be abolished.

Surgeons are also set to receive better training in the procedure, including new standards and qualifications for those training to provide cosmetic surgery. This will help to ensure the correct procedures are being followed and that safety for the patient is at the highest possible level.

Private companies and the NHS will be trialling the register before it is rolled out as a compulsory measure for the whole of England. It will work in a similar way to the National Joint Registry, which is used to record hip replacements.


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