Information on PIP implants

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has previously posted regular updates on the status of PIP Implants. Visit the TGA website to find out more.

The Department of Health published a list of informative links regarding Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) Breast Implants. Visit the Department of Health website to find out more.

ASPS Statement on PIP Implants in Australia 12 March 2012

Associate Professor Rod Cooter, President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Inc, welcomed the announcement over the weekend from the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, that Medicare will subsidise MRI scans of PIP implants to assess if they are ruptured.

“There is a level of genuine anxiety in the community in relation to these PIP implants and this announcement goes some way to reduce that anxiety”, Associate Professor Cooter said.

“Patient safety is our priority and as Specialist Plastic Surgeons our recommendation is always to err on the side of caution. If anyone has concerns, they should consult with their doctor or surgeon for an individual  assessment”, he said.

“For any item to be validly claimed under Medicare the item descriptor must be met, and the service must be a clinically relevant service. There are some existing items that could feasibly be met for removal, or removal and replacement, of a PIP prosthesis.  Clinical relevance need not rely on a physical complication of retention of a prosthesis.  A provider could reasonably argue that a woman suffering significant or debilitating anxiety consequent on retention of her implants has legitimate grounds to have the prostheses removed as a necessary aspect of her treatment”, he said.

“The PIP situation underscores the need for reliable international data on breast implants for both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery”, Associate Professor Cooter said.

“We continue to encourage all doctors, surgeons and patients to register their implant details with the existing voluntary and “opt-in” Breast Implant Registry, managed by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, while we pilot our new Breast Device Registry which is designed to be “opt-out” and hence will capture more comprehensive data”, he said.

“We have sought a meeting with the Federal Minister, as soon as possible, to discuss how a more accessible, ‘opt-out’ Breast Device Registry will improve patient safety and health outcomes”, Associate Professor Cooter said.

For more information about receiving a scan, visit the Department of Health website.

Breast Implant Registry

A new Australian Breast Device Registry (ABDR) is run by Monash University. New patients and health care practitioners looking for information on transitioning to the new ABDR may contact Catherine Mulvany on (03) 9903 0205 or catherine.mulvany@monash.edu or visit the website for more information: http://www.med.monash.edu.au/sphpm/depts-centres-units/abdr/.

Former Breast Implant Registry

The Breast Implant Registry (BIR) commenced in 1998. It has now been superseded by the ABDR.

As at 6 May 2015 the BIR ceased to register new patients. However, Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) continues to maintain the BIR legacy data and to ensure all registered patients continue to have access to their unique data stored on the Registry. ASPS will continue to maintain policies and protocols to ensure privacy and security.

If you have questions about your participation in the BIR, please contact bir@plasticsurgery.org.au or call the Office Manager on (02) 9437 9200.

How to access your BIR data

Download forms from this link.

Medicare-Eligible MRI service for PIP breast implants

To ensure maximum coverage and access for patients with PIP implants, four new MBS Item numbers for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), were initiated in March 2012 for a period of twelve months, and later extended.

MRI can evaluate the integrity of breast implants known or suspected to have been manufactured by Poly Implant Protheses (PIP), a French company.

More information for patients from the Department of Health.

Further information for patients and doctors via MBS Online.