Fears prompt calls for breast implant register


A record of all women who have breast implants should be kept to make it easier to track them down should the products ever prove a health risk, the Government has been urged.

Stephen Dorrell, chairman of the Commons Health Select Committee and a former Health Secretary, and Daniel Poulter, a practising doctor and MP, are reportedly seeking tighter control of the cosmestic surgery industry after some breast implants made by a French company, Pip, began leaking.

The French government has pledged to pay for its citizens to have Pip implants removed, but in Britain ministers are refusing to offer public money and health officials have advised that it is safer to leave them in. Mr Dorrell told a newspaper that keeping records of women who had breast enhancements should be a condition of allowing cosmetic surgery companies to operate. "This is a product being put into a human body – it should have a proper audit trail for where and when it is used," he was reported as saying.

Dr Poulter was anxious that cosmestic surgeons should be better controlled. He said that while products had to be shown to be safe, the industry was "completely unregulated". He is considering proposing draft legislation once the Royal College of Surgeons has published a report on the matter.

The idea of a breast implants register has been suggested in the past but was dropped because it was thought many women would object to their private details being shared.