Around 30,000 women in France have been told they must have their breast implants removed.
It is alleged that the manufacturer Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) used a type of silicone gel which was not intended for medical use, so the implants have a higher rupture rate.
Eight patients who received the implants are reported to have developed cancer, but Plastic Surgeon Laurent Lentieri says this is not a risk:“I think this is a preventive and not a precautionary measure. We know the risks: these implants may rupture. The risk is not at all linked to cancer, these women are not in danger of death. They can spend Christmas and New Year calmly, but gradually they have to go see their surgeon.”
French authorities have said that costs related to the removal of the implants would be reimbursed, however there is no plan at present to pay for replacements, which has angered many of those affected. One woman who received the implants said:
“This procedure cost 2 to 3 thousand euros, it’s very expensive. We’re from the middle class… but there are many who will be unable to afford it.”
The manufacturer PIP has now gone into administration and the French government has formed a special committee to look at the issue. The implants are now banned in France, but they have also been exported and used in other countries.