Registries Key to Understanding Implant Benefits and Risks

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Breast implant surgery registries across the globe are dispelling myths and highlighting the benefits of breast augmentation, reconstruction, and reduction. Data from the Danish Registry for Plastic Surgery of the Breast shows that a low number of silicone and saline implant patients experience complications, according to an article published in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

“Breast implant surgery registries provide real-time, unbiased data to plastic surgeons, crucial in examining the potential short-term and, eventually, long-term complications and possible health effects of surgery of the breast,” said ASPS member Leroy Young, MD, chair of the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (PSEF) National Breast Implant Registry. “In addition, not only will these data contribute to the ongoing evaluation and improvement of surgical results and surveillance of devices, but it will allow us to identify new areas for research in the cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery fields.”

From June 1999 to November 2001, a total of 1,472 women with breast implants were registered in the Danish Registry for Plastic Surgery of the Breast. For 1,240 women, this was their first breast implant procedure. Of the 1,240 women, 85 percent received breast implants for augmentation (cosmetic) and 15 percent had implants for breast reconstruction following mastectomy; 88 percent of all implants were silicone gel. Additionally, 560 women were registered for breast reduction surgery.

After their first breast augmentation, 16 percent of the women experienced adverse effects (the majority of which was change in feeling); 4 percent (of the 16 percent) had capsular contracture, or a hardening of the breast due to scar tissue, the majority of which were categorized as minor; and 1 percent (of the 16 percent) required additional surgery.

A breast implant registry was established by PSEF, the educational arm of ASPS, in 2000 to gather and analyze data regarding breast surgeries to provide valuable information regarding breast procedures to the public. To date more than 4,300 women have registered in PSEF’s National Breast Implant Registry. A formal report is expected in late 2003. Additionally in May, 2002, an international breast implant registry was established to gather similar data from across the globe. The countries currently participating in the international registry are: Brazil, Austrailia, Mexico, Canada, Israel, Germany and the U.S.