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England to register breast implants

breast implantsA recent scandal in the breast implant industry has led England to declare its every breast implant operation be registered. The government intends all implants to be recorded in a national register.

Recently, faulty implants that contained sub-standard silicone gel were sold by a French company named Poly Implant Prothese causing a worldwide scare. The scandal which erupted two years ago affected nearly 50,000 women in the United Kingdom and over women 400,000 worldwide. The problem came to light when a significantly high number of women suffered ruptured implants. The faulty implants are said to have double the rupture rate of other implants.

No records being kept previously meant that many women who had received breast implant surgery had no way of finding out if their implants were of poor quality.

“The PIP implant scandal has shone a light on what is sometimes a cowboy industry where there are some murky practices,” said Dr Dan Poulter, health minister for England, to the BBC. “What we need to do is more effectively track the quality of implants women receive and to make sure that when things go wrong with those implants, that can be acted on as quickly as possible – setting up a register will help us to do that.”

Measures are also to be taken to ban marketing techniques which promote breast surgery by offering them as prizes in competitions. Breast implants have increased in popularity among young and old alike in recent times, with many companies offering ‘two-for-one’ offers, ‘mother and daughter deals’ and more.

“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,” says Dr Poulter. “This has to change, so we are taking robust action to clamp down on the cosmetic cowboys in order to properly protect women and the public.”

The registry is to be piloted next month. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will also consider adopting the same precautions and joining the register.

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