Skip to main content


Information about number of breast implant surgeries revealed in new report

A registry designed to safeguard the health of patients undergoing breast implant surgery now contains details of 20,665 operations.

A registry designed to safeguard the health of patients undergoing breast implant surgery now contains details of 20,665 operations.

NHS Digital has today published the first annual report of the Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry, which records the details of patients who have breast implant procedures so they can be traced if they are affected by safety concerns.

The registry, which was set up in October 20161, records the details of anyone who has had breast implant surgery in England and the type of implant they have, providing that patients have given their consent for their information to be added.  

It assists in tracing patients if there is a recall by an implant manufacturer, or other safety concern relating to a specific type of implant.

Patient data is kept confidential and is held on a secure online platform, with no information shared with third parties.

Today’s report, Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry 2016-17 and 2017-18 Data Summary, shows that a total of 275 organisations – 109 NHS and 166 independent healthcare providers - had submitted data to the registry up to June 2018.

The registry contained details of 20,095 patients and 20,665 operations up to that date, with these broken down by type of breast implant surgery2.

However, not all organisations which provide breast implant surgery have registered to submit data – which means the registry does not yet provide a full picture. As with implant registers in other countries, it will take a number of years before being fully established, and work is continuing to support all relevant organisations to register.

Tom Foley, senior clinical lead for data at NHS Digital, said: “It is pleasing to see that the number of submissions to the registry has increased steadily since it was set up, so that it now includes information from over 20,000 patients.

“However, the registry needs to capture as much data as possible to ensure it is as effective as it can be. Therefore we would urge any providers not yet submitting to look at doing so, and patients to speak to their surgeon about having their details added.

“We want the patients to feel reassured that if there are any issues with breast implants in future, the registry will enable them to be traced.”

Graeme Perks, chair of the Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry Steering Group, said: “The registry has been the result of intense collaboration with our international partners through the International Collaboration of Breast Registry Activities (ICOBRA), particularly Australia, The Netherlands and Sweden.

“We are proud to produce this registry, the third in Europe. It plays an important role in improving patient safety for those undergoing this type of surgery as it contains data for recall purposes and monitors the performance of registered devices.

“We thank all those patients and surgeons who have generously contributed to this endeavour.”


Read the full report

Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry 2016-17 and 2017-18 Data Summary

Notes to editors

  1. Thousands of women were affected by faulty Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) silicone breast implants, which were banned in 2010. When the implants were recalled, poor record-keeping meant many women were unsure whether they had this type of implant and some could not be contacted. The Keogh Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions, was written in response to this, and made a series of recommendations including that a national breast and cosmetic implant registry was established. The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry (BCIR) was set up by NHS Digital working with the Department of Health, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), patient representatives, relevant professional bodies and other organisations, including the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and the Association of Breast Surgery.
  2. This report is to provide information on the uptake of the registry. It does not provide a comprehensive view of the number of breast implant operations undertaken.
  3. Currently, the BCIR only contains details of breast implant surgeries, but future developments may include information about other cosmetic surgeries.
  4. Providers can submit data to the BCIR using NHS Digital's online Secure Clinical Audit Platform. More information is available here.


NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner of the health and care system.  Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend.  During the 2017/18 financial year, NHS Digital published 275 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better.

For media enquiries please contact [email protected] or telephone 0300 30 33 888. Follow us on Twitter: @NHSDigital

Latest news

Last edited: 7 November 2022 2:26 pm