Nagor, the only maker of breast implants in the UK, has announced that in this country alone demand for its implants has soared by almost 50%. In addition to revealing its boosted sales following the PIP scandal, the company is calling for changes to the cosmetic surgery industry.
The PIP issue led to a government review into the sector, with the final report in June finding that although the breast implants are not toxic, they are “substandard” and “more likely to rupture” compared to other implants.
Douglas Black, a director of Nagor has called for the cosmetic surgery industry to support an insurance protection scheme to fund the cost of replacing the breast implants.
He said: “What needs to come is cover for patients or clinicians to prevent this kind of scandal ever happening again. There is a possibility it would have been found out sooner if there was an implant registry and that has to come back too.”
Black has added his support to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ (Baaps) call for the restoration of a compulsory register for all implants after a previous register was scrapped in 2006.
With regard to the actual manufacturing of breast implants, Nagor’s director has called for increased regulation of this industry.
“There are hundreds of manufacturers around the world and new ones popping up all the time,” Black commented.
“There are only two manufacturers of medical grade silicone; both are based in the USA. All ethical manufacturers should only be buying from these two companies.”
The Cumbernauld-based firm also makes tissue expanders for reconstructive surgery and for use in other cosmetic surgery procedures like calf muscle implants.
Black described the PIP scandal as a “shock” and “horrible to see”. He said: “The fact is that these women have a product inside them that hasn’t been tested and there still doesn’t seem to be a solution for these unfortunate patients.”
To date, 400 British women affected by the PIP implants have been given free or reduced cost implants by the firm.
Patient safety is important to Nagor, and the company is now three years into its sponsorship of a clinical trial to gather data on the long-term safety and performance of its gel-filled breast implants. More than 500 patients are taking part in the UK study and are being followed for up to ten years.
The fact the implants are British made and feature serial numbers is said to be reassuring. And the company also has helplines available for when patients have queries – it is factors like these which help to explain the recent soar in sales in the aftermath of the PIP scandal.