Frequently Asked Questions for Surgeons/Clinicians

For surgeons and clinicians

Do I have to be a member of ASPS, ACCSM or BreastSurgANZ to contribute to the ABDR?

If you perform breast device surgery, we are keen to include your data in the registry – irrespective of your professional affiliation(s).

Do I have to pay anything to contribute to the ABDR?

No, the ABDR is supported by funding from the Australian Government, Department of Health and Aged Care, under the National Clinical Quality Registry Program. There is no cost to surgeons/clinicians or patients to participate. Sites are asked to provide a nominal level of resourcing to oversee the day-to-day operations of the registry; that is, to provide a central contact person to act as point-of-contact for the Registry and to maintain the study folder, ensure a data collection form is completed for every operation and to batch and return the Data Collection Forms (DCFs) to Monash University in a timely manner.

Is it a matter of simply filling out the data collection forms for my patients and sending them to you?

There are three requirements to fulfil prior to submitting data.

  1. Each surgeon/clinician must sign a Participation Agreement. Please return signed forms to Monash University.
  2. Sites must have obtained formal approval of a relevant ethics committee. This approval process is overseen by ABDR research team.
  3. Every patient must be informed prior to surgery that their data will be sent to the ABDR. We ask surgeons/clinicians to discuss this with each patient at their pre-surgery consultation and to include a copy of the Patient Leaflet in their pre-surgery information pack.

Do I have to tell patients that I am submitting their data to the ABDR?

Yes, this is an important part of the process. Patients must be notified at their pre-surgery consultation that their data will be sent to the Registry. We provide you with a poster to display in a prominent location in your consulting room(s) and Patient Leaflets to include in each patient’s pre-surgery information pack. Following surgery, ABDR staff will send each patient an Explanatory Statement to inform them about the registry and the option to opt out of participating.

Does the ABDR contact my patient?

If you are contributor to the ABDR, upon receipt of a completed DCF (Data Collection Form), ABDR staff will send your patient an Explanatory Statement to inform them about the registry and the option to opt out of participating.

Patients with implant/s may have been invited to complete a post-surgery survey asking about pain and rippling as part of the PROMs (Patient Reported Outcome Measures) study. This program is currently being reviewed and is expected to recommence in the future.

How do I order more posters and/or patient leaflets for my consulting rooms?

Please contact registry staff at or (03) 9903 0205.

Does participation in the Registry contribute to my Continuing Professional Development?

Yes, participation in the Registry has already been approved for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery and Medicine (ACCSM).

How do I stay up to date on progress of the ABDR?

The ABDR e-newsletter, released three times per year, will provide up to date information on progress and developments of the registry. Subscribe here:

You can also follow our progress on the news section of this website, and by following us on Twitter @BreastDeviceReg.

Data collection

Does the ABDR collect online data or rely on hard copy data collection forms?

The registry currently relies on a paper-based data collection process. The capacity for direct entry of data into the database is under development.

When should data be collected? By whom?

The Data Collection Form (DCF) should be completed in the theatre at the time of each surgery. It is preferred that surgeons complete the DCFs themselves although we accept that some surgeons may choose to nominate a delegate to complete them. In this case, we ask that surgeons review each form for data accuracy and completeness.

Sites are asked to complete one double-sided, “tick and stick” data collection form per patient and return to the ABDR on a monthly basis (although this varies depending on the frequency of breast device surgeries). Please contact your ABDR research officer if you need assistance with form completion or returns.

What is the difference between the blue section and the pink section of the data collection form?

The blue section of the form is to be completed for every patient, for every surgery. The pink section of the form is to be completed only when the patient is undergoing revision surgery.

A copy of the form can be found here.

Should I complete a form where there has been no replacement device implanted?

Yes, all operations involving breast devices should be submitted to the ABDR. This includes operations where a device is explanted without replacement. There is provision to record this in the pink section of the form.

Should I collect retrospective cases?

No, we only collect patient data from and after the date of ethics approval. Please refer to the ethics approval letter in the Site Folder mailed to you from the Registry. This will indicate the date from which data may be collected.

Should I complete the data collection form for all my patients, regardless of which site their surgery takes place?

We can only accept data collection forms for patients undergoing surgery at sites with ethics approval. Please do NOT submit data for sites that have not been through an ethics approval process.

Your designated ABDR project officer will be able to assist with ethics and governance approvals for new sites. For more about Ethics and Governance.

When should I submit the forms? To whom?

Please batch forms and return to us on a monthly basis (at minimum).  Please contact your ABDR research officer for assistance with form completion or returns, such as setting up secured transfer protocol.

What is the estimated length of the data collection?

This is an ongoing project so there is no foreseeable end date for collection of data.

Data security

Where is the data housed?

Data is housed with the Data Custodian, Monash University.

How is the data protected?

Data is stored on the secured ABDR database, housed within Monash University, which employs a multitude of controls to align with ISO 27001 security practices.

Who can access the data?

Access to de-identified data for research is strictly controlled through ABDR Governance teams. Protocols are in place to ensure that the highest levels of privacy and safety are maintained and all requests must be compliant with the ABDR Data Access and Publication Policy.
Patients can apply to the registry to access their own device details.  For enquiries about data access, contact the ABDR.

How is data reported?

Public reports contain aggregate (unidentifiable) data only.  Surgeons/clinicians will receive reports of their own identifiable patient data.  Sites will receive reports of their own aggregate data but no identifiable patient data. Patients can apply to the ABDR team to access information about their device and researchers can apply to the ABDR team to access aggregate data.  However, all requests must be compliant with the Data Access and Publication Policy.

How can I access registry data for research purposes?

Researchers wishing to access aggregate (de-identified) data should contact the ABDR. Applications are reviewed by the ABDR Research and Data Sharing Sub-Committee.  All requests must be compliant with the Data Access and Publication Policy. The registry will be acknowledged as the source of data, but researchers will not list all contributing surgeons/clinicians.