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Proposal for breast implant registry being progressed – HSE

By Catherine Reilly - 25th Mar 2022

A proposal for a breast implant registry is being progressed, according to the HSE. 

An expert advisory group (EAG) on breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is “actively working” with stakeholders including the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and National Office of Clinical Audit to “progress a proposal for the Department of Health on the development of a breast implant registry”. 

“Regarding the cost of setting up and running of a breast implant registry, operational funding, and the question of inclusion of historic breast implants, the proposal is still under development,” the HSE’s spokesperson informed the Medical Independent

Breast implant registries have been established in several countries. Such registries aim to facilitate tracing of patients in the event of a product recall or safety concern relating to a type of implant. They also allow for the identification of possible trends and complications relating to specific implants. 

In the UK, a breast implant registry was established in 2016 on foot of an independent report setting out recommendations to protect people who have cosmetic surgery. This followed the recall of the Poly Implant Prothèse breast implants in 2010. 

The HSE’s EAG was formed in 2021 in response to the emergence of BIA-ALCL, a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma associated with breast implants. Internationally, most cases of BIA-ALCL have been linked with Allergan textured implants, which have been recalled from the market. In Ireland, “less than five” reports of BIA-ALCL have been received by the HPRA. 

As well as scoping the development of a breast implant registry, the EAG is performing an up-to-date literature review on the evidence for surgery and radiology interventions relating to BIA-ALCL. 

Internationally, implant removal in non-symptomatic patients for the purpose of BIA-ALCL prophylaxis has not been recommended.

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