In 2022, 193 individuals reported suspected side effects of implants to RIVM’s Dutch Reporting Centre for Adverse Effects of Medical Implants (MEBI). Most reports received concerned breast implants, copper IUDs and wrinkle fillers. This is highlighted in MEBI’s annual report.

For the first time, wrinkle fillers have reached the top three of most frequently reported implants. This is due to increased awareness about hypersensitivity reactions to wrinkle fillers following COVID-19 vaccination. MEBI published a noticeabout this issue in 2022.

Many reports about breast implants and copper IUDs

This annual report also describes the trends over the last 5 years since MEBI was established. During this period, MEBI clearly received more reports about breast implants and copper IUDs than about other implants. It is likely that MEBI’s own publications, such as specific notices and fact sheets about these types of implants, might have played a role. But also those from other organisations. In addition, there was ample media coverage about these implants.

Awareness about other implants

The low number of reports received by MEBI about some implants can also have other causes. For instance, implant users and healthcare professionals might not be familiar with the reporting centre. It is key for MEBI to be accessible to these target groups. Therefore, in the near future, MEBI will also be focusing its campaign on implants less reported about. This includes users of implants such as gastric balloons, hearing implants or implants for the heart and blood vessels, such as heart valves, pacemakers and stents.

Reporting side effects to MEBI is important

Both healthcare professionals and citizens can report to MEBI. They can visit the MEBI website to complete an online report form (in Dutch). One form can include information about one or more implants. By reporting possible side effects one is helping other patients. When several or unusual health problems are reported, MEBI can detect early on a likely relationship between implants and health complaints and inform healthcare professionals, patients and the government.

MEBI started five years ago.  In January 2023 an online magazine (in Dutch) was published which included information about its activities and shared experiences from reporters.