Your breast implants are trying to tell you something – or at least they will be, if a new medical technology becomes widespread.
Florida- and Belgium-based company Establishment Labs is set to market a new silicone breast implant equipped with a radio frequency identification (RFID) microchip that gives doctors and patients easier access to information about the implants, including their serial number, manufacturer name and other data.
Using a handheld device, doctors would be able to quickly determine the make and model of the implants even years down the road.
The innovation could provide an extra level of safety assurance following health scares like the one generated by a French company last year after it was discovered their products had been made with an unauthorized silicone filler. The implants manufactured by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) had double the rupture rate of similar products, causing health risks such as scarring and breast malformation to about 300,000 women in Europe and South America.
The new product, Motiva Implant Matrix Ergonomix, will soon hit the market in 28 European countries, and the company is seeking approvals in South America, the Middle East and Asia, Establishment Labs said in a press release Thursday.
The microchip technology “is about giving women the power of verification and control throughout the life of the device, if they choose to have breast implants,” the company’s CEO, Juan Jose Chacon-Quiros, said in a statement. “We are already in final talks with the biggest groups of clinics in Europe to provide the highest degree of safety, which patients have been rightly demanding after the recent breast implant scare in the EU.”