Breast implants are to get their own register so we know which ones we’ve had placed should there be future concerns for particular makes.
The health minister announced the move at the weekend.
In 2010, the PIP silicone breast implant scandal threw thousands of women into a panic when it was announced the implants were faulty.
Women were left confused or untraceable in some cases when the implants were recalled.
This latest development marks a significant step in the on-going campaign to make cosmetic surgery safer here in the UK, as the numbers of us seeking treatments to enhance our bodies continues to rise.
The announcement also follows the news that, thanks to Brexit, Britain is now attracting more patients than ever from overseas, all hoping to capitalise on the current exchange rates favourable to them.
It means that treatments are not only more affordable here but, with Britain’s reputation for excellence in training, safety standards and quality of care, there’s a bigger ‘hook’ for foreign interest.
This new Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry will mean another level of safety, as anyone providing breast implants will be expected to sign up.
Developed by NHS Digital to ensure ease of traceability, the register will also be included in the Care Quality Commission’s inspection ‘tick list’ of quality of care when assessing any health care providers.
It is believed that details of other cosmetic procedures, such as buttock and calf implants, will be added to the register over time.
Surgeons will need to gain explicit consent from patients before adding to the register but it’s hoped they will understand the need for clarity to ensure safe treatments and outcomes.
Plastic surgeon organisations have all welcomed this announcement, which they hope will highlight any issues with implants and inform and shape new technology and research.