Internet Breast Implant Registry Answers Demands of FDA Silicone Gel Breast Implant Panel

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The FDA Plastic Surgery subcommittee has required establishment of a registry for breast implants. A new internet based registry provides patients and surgeons access to critical information regarding saline and silicone gel implants. - New Breast Implant Registry Reassures Women, Helps Surgeons.

Plastic surgeon Robert Frank has examined hundreds of women who have had breast augmentation or implant breast reconstruction. And he is amazed -- his patients have remarkably little information about the details of their past surgeries. One young woman recently visited Dr. Frank for a regular examination swearing she had saline implants ten years earlier. Upon operation, Dr. Frank discovered that the implants were not in fact saline, but ruptured gel implants that lengthened the time and severity of the surgery and limited the ultimate cosmetic result.

Shaken by this experience and others like it, Dr. Frank decided to start an Internet-based Breast Implant Registry which would allow a patient to file her surgical history in an online database so it would be accessible whenever needed. "Most breast augmentation patients are so young at the time of their breast augmentation that the chance of them needing a revision at some point in their lives is very high,” says Dr. Frank.

Surgery centers in most states discard information after between two and seven years, leaving many women with unanswered questions and never-ending worries. "Not knowing what is inside you is frightening," says Dr. Frank. The Breast Implant Registry (BIR, empowers patients to take control of their own information regarding their bodies.

"The size, placement and volume of the existing implant is critical to a successful examination and reoperative surgery," says Dr. Frank. "This information is often unavailable due to the fact that patients misplace their implant cards and surgery centers discard patient charts," says Dr. Frank.

Dr. Frank initiated the Breast Implant Registry to answer confidential questions and provide updated information on breast surgery. Rates for deflation, capsular contracture, silent rupture of gel implants, and implant displacement can all be tracked accurately. The web site ( also answers "soft science" questions, such as those about the social and emotional benefits of breast augmentation and reconstruction.

To use the Breast Implant Registry, patients will use a secure, password-protected, database that complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. They can enter information about their surgeon, procedure, and implants, and update their files if revisions or additional procedures are performed. "This site is completely confidential and it does not allow surgeons to access a patient's record without the consent of the patient," added Frank.

One third of all women with breast implants will have them replaced within 10 years. "The BIR gives them the security of knowing the information will be available when needed," says Dr. Frank. A registered patient will be reminded annually to confirm her contact information, and to have her annual mammogram. She will also be advised when her implant warranty will expire.

Registration for the Breast Implant Registry is $25 for ten years.

Contact: Katie Jeter, McKinney Chicago, 312-944-6784 EXT: 319,


Robert E. Frank, MD, Aria Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery, 219-924-3377

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