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Canada urged to create national breast implant registry

House of Commons committee recommends move to protect people when health issues arise

The House of Commons health committee is echoing long-standing calls from plastic surgeons and patient advocates for a national breast-implant registry to prevent illness and problems linked to the medical devices.

The committee says in a report today that a national registry would allow the federal government to trace specific implants, contact patients in the case of a recall, and contribute to research related to breast implants.

Health Canada officials told the committee breast implants are associated with a range of potential complications, including life-threatening ones.

There have been several private members’ bills introduced in Parliament calling for the creation of a national registry, but none have made it far.

The committee is also recommending that Health Canada formally recognize “breast-implant illness,” which is characterized by fatigue, anxiety, chronic pain and nervous-system dysfunction.

The federal department is assessing illnesses linked to breast implants, but has not yet taken a position on the issue due to a lack of available data.

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