French woman’s death sparks renewed PIP fears: Aurora advise about breast implant safety

Guest blog by Amin Elmubarak for Aurora Clinics

PIP Implants: The Background

According to a popular consumer watch website, on March 30, 2010, France’s health regulators issued a recall of all pre-filled silicone breast implants manufactured by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), a company based in southern France. The breast implant recall is said to affect an estimated 35,000 to 45,000 women worldwide.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons estimated 50,000 British women have the implants. The PIP implants use a type of non-medical silicone for its products which is believed to seep through the implant into surrounding tissue causing the formation of small cysts.

The silicone also weakens the implant making it more likely to split. Though an ultrasound or an MRI may be used to scan for such problems, it may be missed as the body tends to form a capsule around any foreign body, shielding it from such investigations.

If that occurs, the leaking silicone of the older type of implants may seep unnoticed into the surrounding lymph (the body’s filtering tissue) and may cause a silica granuloma.

Now, the French justice system is to investigate a breast implant manufacturer after the death of a 53-year-old woman from lymphatic cancer on Monday in the southern French city of Marseille.

AFSSAPS, the health regulatory agency of France, found that 10 per cent of the company’s implants ruptured within a year.

On average, implants should last over 10 years. Presently, the new fourth generation implants have thicker shells that are less likely to rupture with a more cohesive silicone filling that is less likely to leak. Meaning that the dangers of the older implants are less likely to occur.

What to Do if you think you have a Ruptured Implant

Though you may have a ruptured implant that you may not know about or fear that you have a ruptured implant that ends up being normal, it is relatively straight forward to see a specialist and they can assess the area.

If it turns out to be ruptured, it is a relatively simple procedure to remove the implant and clean the entire area free of silicone and replace it with the stronger, more reliable fourth generation implant.

At Aurora Clinics, we have never used PIP implants but we do have a number very experienced breast surgeons. Mr. Adrian Richards (our Company Director and Consultant Surgeon) was voted ‘Home Counties’ Leading Plastic Surgeon’ by The Daily Mail and ‘Leading Breast Surgeon UK by The Independent on Sunday.

He is actively involved with raising awareness about types of implants available by providing informative blogs and videos for patients concerned they may have old PIP implants.

Mr. Richards is also offering free consultations at Aurora Clinics for people worried about PIP implants with a view to replacing their implants with newer, safer varieties of breast implant.

For more information email  or call 01234 578290.