Surgeon calls for ‘staged removal’ of all PIP breast implants
A surgeon advising the government has called for the removal of all faulty breast implants, following a health scare in France. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16384671
Tim Goodacre, a member of a panel looking at products made by French firm PIP, said the reported risk of rupture was "quite out of the ordinary".
The government said the failure rate was 1%, but private clinic Transform believes it could be up to 7%. "This is very much higher than anything we'd consider acceptable," he said.
Speaking on the BBC's The World at One, Mr Goodacre, who is president of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) said he did not think there was any risk of cancer as a result of the faulty implants, but he was still advising what he called removal on a "staged basis".
"If you believe a device is faulty in your car or any other object you buy you would want to have that replaced on a staged basis, but given the fact there is a degree of uncertainty and a lack of knowledge, we're recommending all implants come out" he said.
Last week the French government recommended the precautionary removal of implants from 30,000 women, with the government covering the costs.
PIP went into administration in 2010 and its products are now banned, after it was discovered they had used non-medical-grade silicone believed to be made for mattresses, which had an increased likelihood of splitting.
The company is believed to have sold over 300,000 implants in 65 countries over the last 12 years, with South America accounting for more than half the exports.
Western Europe was another major market, with Spain, Italy, Germany and Ukraine known to have imported the products, as well as the United Kingdom.
What are the risks?
- The silicone inside the implants is not medical grade
- Tests have not shown any increased risk of toxicity from this filler compared to normal implants
- But mechanical testing has shown the implant covers have an increased risk of rupturing
- The gel inside can be irritative, increasing the risk of inflammation reaction - making removal more difficult
- There is no increased breast cancer risk
- One case of a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) was recently reported in France
- French and US experts suggest there is a small but increased risk of this cancer for women with breast implants in general
Women who received a PIP implant from the NHS will be contacted to let them know they have one. The NHS will support removal and replacement of PIP implants if a woman and her doctor decide that it is the right thing to do. The secretary of state has made clear that patients' concerns must be put first.
The following private clinics have said they will replace PIP implants free if clinically necessary: Holly House, Highgate Hospitals, Make Yourself Amazing (MYA Cosmetic Surgery), Ramsay Health Care, Spire Healthcare, BMI Healthcare, Nuffield Healthcare and HCA International. The Transform medical group has said it will remove the implants free for its patients who had them fitted since 2001 and The Hospital Group said it would offer free removal to patients it operated on from 2001-2009; both will charge for replacements.
If a private clinic that provided PIP implants no longer exists or refuses to help then the NHS will cover the cost of the removal of PIP implants if your doctor agrees there is a clinical need. This would not include the replacement of private cosmetic implants.
We believe most women with PIP implants have reasonable prospects of success in winning a claim for compensation. This is based on our belief that every woman who had PIP implants filled with industrial silicone has a claim for breach of contract against the clinic that fitted them.
You should be able to claim for reasonable costs associated with further surgery, and for the distress and pain and suffering of an additional operation. Even if you are not presently certain that you wish to have any further surgery our advice is that you must act quickly now to seek legal advice and register a claim. If you don't act quickly you may lose your right to claim.
Having taken medical advice women who choose to proceed and seek to reclaim the cost of the treatment should take specialist advice from a clinical negligence specialist solicitor who deals with cosmetic surgery claims, please ring Clear Law Solicitors on 0161 873 2740 to discuss your claim. This may also be a case of product liability.Back to top