Purpose of Breast Implant Serial Numbers?

I am a reporter covering the story about slain model Jasmine Fiore. She was reportedly identified as a murder victim by a serial number found in her breast implant. Do all breast implants have serial numbers? For what purpose?  Do they also have "chips" for making sure the implants are authentic?

Doctor Answers 12

Purpose of Breast Implant Serial Numbers

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Thank you for your question.  Breast implants similar to all implantable medical devises have the manufacturer name, cc, serial and lot numbers. This will help identity the implant if there is a complications that requires removal for research and tracking for quality.

Breast implant serial numbers

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Breast implants have the manufacturer, size in cc's, and a number stamped on the back.  Breast implants are implantable medical devices, (i.e.; pacemakers, defibrillators, etc).  Implantable medical devices are required to be tracked for quality assurance and research purposes.  At time of surgery this number is recorded in the patient's chart, and is sent off to the manufacturer.  They can then track issues like leak rates, etc.

There are no other "tracking" devices, (chips or otherwise), on the implants.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Serial Numbers for Breast Implants

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All breast implants, whether made by Mentor or Allergan, are identified by a lot number and a serial number. This is for research purposes. When patients receive implants a tracking form is sent to the company. Should the implant fail and need to be replaced, the failed implant is returned to the company. This does two things: 1. it is used for the guarantee and 2. it is used to study why the implant failed.

No chips. That's a little too Big Brother.

Breast implant serial numbers

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Jasmine Fiore was fortunate to have had these implants to identify her expeditiously since so much damage was done to her other natural ID's. I almost wish the way they identified her hadn't gotten out because now who knows what measures the next sick individual is going to take.

There are no microchips in implants. Just saline or silicone. They have a serial number for tracking purposes because the companies that produce them in the US (Mentor by Johnson and Johnson or Natrelle by Allergan) study their product for quality control. They know where every single implant is and can track their product very efficiently.

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Breast implant serial number

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1) If there was a group of infected implants, or ruptured implants, all coming from the same manufacturing batch, this would trigger a recall. Recall would be made possible by identifying serial numbers. But such a recall has actually never been necessary.

2) All breast implants do currently have serial numbers but not transponder chips. Chips are experimental.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Breast implant serial numbers for tracking, research, etc.

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Serial numbers are very important for the purpose of implant tracking, quality assurance and research. Some gel implants are still included in the national study and it is required to to keep track of all implant info including serial numbers.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast implant serial numbers

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Breast implants have serial numbers for tracking purposes. Surgeons are supposed to report the patient information  to the implant company for tracking purposes. This allows patients to be contacted for recalls ,etc..

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast implants have serial numbers for device tracking and quality assurance

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On the back surface of the implant there is an imprint on the device which contains the name of the manufacturer, the style and size of the device as well as a serial number.

When the device is placed a copy of the serial number, size and style information and manufacturer is placed in the patients chart, the Operating Room/hospital record and a copy is sent back to the manufacturer.

The serial number is useful for quality control should there be an early failure of the device. There are no "chips" placed in the device.

John E. Gross, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Purpose of breast implant serial numbers

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The breast serial numbers allow the two large implant manufacturers Mentor and Allergan (formerly Inamed, formerly McGhan) to continuously track complication and leak rates and improve their production. No RF tags or others are currently placed and I think those may run afoul of privacy laws.

I am NOT familiar of Jasmine Fiore's case but TV imitates life.

A similar theme was presented in an episode of Law and Order. Moreover, a few years ago a Jane Doe was found slain in Florida (do not recall where) and the only potential ID were the serial numbers of her Mentor breast implants which were publicized by the coroner who tried to establish her identity by enlisting the help of the Plastic Surgery community. I asked my Mentor sales rep to contact her superiors and see what they could do but we never heard back. Probably in the interest of preserving the privacy of the victim and surgeon.

Hope this was helpful.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

All implants have serial numbers

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Yes, all implants do have serial numbers. Both manufacturers in the US (Allergan and Mentor corps) track their implants for quality assurance purposes such as for keeping track of leakage rates. All implants have on them their size and serial numbers. They do not have chips as of yet. Although anything is possible depending on where she had her surgery, I have not heard of any surgeon using imitation implants.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.