Women in England who have breast implant surgery can now log their procedures so they can be traced in the event of any safety concerns.
The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry (BCIR) was launched by NHS Digital earlier this week following a recommendation from a report on the PIP breast implant scandal of 2010, during which thousands of women were unable to discover if they had been given faulty Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) implants.
"We want the NHS to be the safest healthcare system in the world and anyone who chooses to have a cosmetic procedure has the right to safe care," said healthcare secretary Jeremy Hunt in a statement, according to the BBC. "The PIP breast implant scandal in 2010 affected thousands of people which is why we asked NHS Digital to develop a new register which will allow people to be traced swiftly if that is ever needed."
Women will be able to log their implants whether they have surgery privately or on the NHS, but the registry will not be mandatory. However, three key medical bodies - the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, the Association of Breast Surgery and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons - have encouraged patients to make use of it.
They said in a joint statement: "This will protect patients by providing a way to actively monitor all implants, track and trace their use and provide data for further research, which may be used to further technological advances. We hope that all patients will consent to the submission of data on their behalf."
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