Around 47,000 British women who have been fitted with implants made by failed French firm PIP have...
PIP breast implants 'not toxic or carcinogenic'
A review by the NHS says faulty breast implants - which were made from industrial - not medical-grade silicone, have double the rupture rate of other breast implants.
Around 47,000 British women who have been fitted with implants made by failed French firm PIP have been told that while their implants are twice as likely to burst as others, they are neither toxic nor carcinogenic.
The review was led by the NHS's medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh after it emerged last year that PIP implants were filled with industrial-grade silicone meant for filling mattresses, not the medical-grade that should have been used.
Nearly all the British women who had PIP implants put in did so in private hospitals and clinics. Of the 47,000 with the implants, 750 have had them removed on the NHS, according to Department of Health figures. 490 of these originally had their implants put in at private clinics.
Although the report found no link between PIP implants and cancer, Professor Keogh said that women who had them fitted had had an "incredibly worrying time".
He said: "We have however found that these implants are substandard, when compared to other implants and that they are more likely to rupture. We would therefore advise that women who have symptoms of a rupture - for example tenderness, soreness or lumpiness - should speak to their surgeon or GP."
But a past president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, Nigel Mercer, told the Daily Mail: "Our position is that these are sub-standard implants and should not be in the human body. If a member of my family had them, I'd want them out."
Any woman who had PIP implants fitted on the NHS can have them removed and replaced for free. But for those who had them privately fitted, whether they can have them replaced for free on the NHS depends on where they live.
If they live in Scotland or England, then they can't have free replacements on the NHS while in Wales, both removal and replacement is free for women who originally had their implants fitted privately.
Women who were originally treated by private clinics were told by the government earlier this year that they should go back to where they were fitted to have them removed. But if the clinic refused to remove them or no longer existed, the NHS would do so. Some clinics will remove the implants for free but are charging to fit new implants.
- Medical insurance won't usually cover the cost of replacement implants
- Some women who paid for their PIP implants by credit card have had their costs refunded because they were faulty
- Now there's an official report saying the implants are substandard, it could allow women to sue those who fitted them
One in nine British women will develop breast cancer - the leading cause of death for women aged 34-54