A new brand of silicone breast implants will be equipped with a radio frequency microchip that can help patients and doctors access crucial information about the device, including its serial number, implant size, manufacturer’s name, and other related data.
To activate and “read” the microchips of the silicone implants, which are marketed by Florida-based Establishment Labs, doctors need to use a handheld device that will release radio waves.
In a press release, Establishment Labs said the new product, which they call Motiva Implant Matrix Ergonomix, will soon become available in 28 European countries. Meanwhile, the company is currently seeking approvals from health regulators in Asia, South America, and Middle East to sell their silicone breast implants.
The company’s CEO, Juan Jose Chacon-Quiros, said in a statement that the microchip-equipped silicone implants aim to “give women the power of verification and control” throughout the life of the devices.
The official added that his company “is currently in talks with the biggest clinics” in Europe to further improve the safety of patients who choose to undergo breast augmentation or reconstructive surgery with the use of breast implants.
Meanwhile, currently available breast implants in the US come with a “device identification card,” which the patients must keep in a secure place so they can show it to their doctors in case they need a revision surgery or other procedures.
Experts suggest the new technology will provide an additional safety measure after health scares involving French-made breast implants that were found to contain industrial-grade silicone gel filler used for making mattresses.
According to the most recent report, about 300,000 women in Europe and South American were affected by the health scare, although some experts have suggested it could be higher since the substandard PIP breast implants were “repackaged” and sold under different names.
Health authorities have been recommending routine removal of PIP implants due to their high failure rate.