As much as social media drives me mad sometimes, there is a beautiful side of it. The fact that there is a wealth of information at your fingertips when you truly need it. Now as some of you are aware prior to having my implants removed I had no idea what make of implant were inside me and even after explant there was no manufacturers name, no lot or serial number on them. My implant surgeon, Mr Peter Ashby, had passed away and all my records had been destroyed. Thanks to the internet, I managed to track down his secretary by googling his name and finding an old newspaper article online where he had been interviewed about plastic surgery. In this article, he happened to name his secretary, so I went into investigation mode to track her down. Thank you Linkedin! When I called to ask her a few questions, she was quite taken aback by the fact I had found her!
This was all prior to my explant as I was trying to find out if I had the dreaded PIP brand or something else inside me. The ex secretary confirmed that Mr Ashby used PIP when working for Harley Street Medical Group, however if I had seem him at his clinic, he would have used Nagor. This still left me a little unsure as I had been referred to Mr Ashby through a third party…. and I couldn’t remember who that was either!
After explant I was still in the dark about my implants origin, so I decided to send my implants off to Canada to Professor Pierre Blais, the worlds leading specialist in faulty implants. He knows his implants and can identify them all. He confirmed that they were Nagor, textured silicone gel filled implant. Catalogue number GFX 200.
I was still keen to try and track down my records, just in case they had been placed in storage somewhere and not destroyed. Putting my detective cap back on I surfed the net to see if I had any other leads. Mr Ashby was in business with a number of other surgeons and so one by one I tracked them all down to see if any were still practicing. I hit the jackpot. I found, on companies house records, another surgeon based in Harley Street that was linked with Mr Ashby, so I called his office. I spoke to a lovely receptionist that told me many of Peter’s clients had been referred to Mr Stannicks practice since his passing, as Mr Stannick and Mr Ashby were very close friends. I told her that I was trying to find out what implants I had and possibly get hold of my records. She said she would speak to Mr Stannick and get back to me.
A few days later she called me back and informed me that unfortunately all the records had definitely been destroyed. However, if I had seen Mr Ashby in his Harley Street clinic, which I had, then I would definitely have Nagor textured silicone.
In September this year (2016) the UK Government launched a breast implant register to ‘safeguard patients’ against faulty implants. In the wake of the PIP scandal they now wanted to implement a track and trace system, so that patients could be contacted if needed. I was watching an interview on the BBC regarding this matter, with PIP campaign activist Jan Spivey. She was discussing the problems linked with PIP and other makes of breast implants and health issues and I knew that I had to make contact with her. Thanks to the power of social media, I am now friends with this amazing lady and part of her amazing campaign. A member of her group, Marie Robinson happened to post a link recommending that anyone wanting to find out their implants details to contact the MHRA (Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency) as they had an old registry for breast implants that had run until it was closed down in 2006. I had never even heard of this register before, but this was yet another chance for me to try and find out exactly what was inside me all these years…..if Mr Ashby had put me on the register all those years ago. So I submitted my enquiry and here is how I did it, all thanks to the details Marie and Jan posted…
On how to request your details from the UK Breast Implant Registry, frorm the MHRA / DoH
People can request information from the Registry by contacting the MHRA’s Customer Services team. The contact details are:
Telephone: 0203 080 6000
The enquirer will then receive a letter asking for proof of identity and for the following information in relation to their breast implants, in order for theMHRA to carry out a search of the database:
– address at time of implantation;
– name at time of implantation;
– name of the clinic/hospital and/or surgeon; and
– date of implantation.
Following a search the enquirer will receive a reply in writing, either giving the information or letting them know why it is not available.
Within 24 hours I found out I WAS ON THE REGISTER and when I got the email, I actually jumped up and down on my bed like an excited child!!
This is what they said…
Subsequent to this request, a search of relevant electronic and manual records was conducted to ensure all pertinent information had been located and considered. We can confirm that the Agency holds relevant personal data about you. Please see information below.
Left prosthesis: Manufacturer: NAG Right prosthesis: Manufacturer: NAG
Size: 200 Size: 200
Catalogue number: GFX200 Catalogue number: GFX200
Lot number: 20536/1 Lot number: 20536/1
Serial no: n/a Serial no: n/a
Implant date: 11/09/2001
Registration date: 10/10/2001
B.I.N.G.O. I finally had the proof and the Lot number.. so so so so SOOOO happy.
A few months prior to receiving the news I had so been longing for, I had contacted the MHRA Yellow Card Scheme. Most of us in the UK have never even heard about this, but its a really great scheme. It “monitors the safety of all healthcare products in the UK to ensure they are acceptably safe for patients and those that use them. Reports can be made for all medicines including vaccines, blood factors and immunoglobulins, herbal medicines and homeopathic remedies, and all medical devices available on the UK market.” (from the MHRA – yellow card scheme website). So, I decided to go on their website to register my concerns about my implants and the illnesses that I felt were connected to them. The form was short and very easy to fill in.
A few weeks later I had call from the MHRA to discuss my complaint. They had contacted the manufacturer, Nagor with my issues and Nagor had then responded wanting to know more about my implants. Unfortunately at the time I didn’t have that key information of serial / lot number that they needed, but thanks to Jan, Marie and the old MHRA register, I could now let the yellow card scheme and Nagor know exactly what they are.
I am still awaiting a response……
Click here for the what happened next.. xx