French authorities recalled PIP breast implants in March 2010
4:42am UK, Wednesday December 21, 2011
Health experts insist there is no evidence that British women with silicone breast implants made by a French company should have them removed.
Medical authorities in France are expected to tell 30,000 women with a certain type of breast implant to have them removed.
They are filled with an unapproved gel and have been linked to the death of a French woman who died from a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).
Some 50,000 British women are believed to have the implants.
But the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there is no evidence to support removal of the implants, manufactured by Poly Implant Prosthese (PIP).
“The MHRA has reviewed available evidence for association of cancers for women with breast implants in consultation with the relevant UK professional bodies for breast surgery and surgical oncology and has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to indicate any association with cancer.
“Additionally, the MHRA worked with the cancer registry and could find no evidence for any association.
“The MHRA’s current advice to women with any type of breast implant continues to be that women who are concerned about their breasts or think that their implants may have ruptured, should seek clinical advice from their implanting surgeon.”
A statement from the British Association for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) said: “We currently believe that the expected announcement from French medical authorities will be a precautionary measure.
These implants have a higher failure rate so there will be women who might choose to have their implants removed before that happens, whereas others will be happy to be monitored.
Douglas McGeorge, former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
“Surgeons will be in contact with any patient who has received this type of implant if any action is required.”
Douglas McGeorge, consultant plastic surgeon and former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) said patients with breast implants should check whether they have a PIP implant.
“The message here is not to panic,” he said.
“The advice is unchanged. Women with PIP implants should be checked by the clinic where they had their surgery and can then be monitored afterwards.
“These implants have a higher failure rate so there will be women who might choose to have their implants removed before that happens, whereas others will be happy to be monitored.”
According to BAAPS, PIP used non-medical grade silicone believed to be made for mattresses.
This meant the low-cost devices were more likely to split – 10% of them within the first year.
On average, implants should last 10 years.
The French government has formed a special committee to look at the issue.
PIP went into administration last year and the use of its implants was banned.