Around 7,000 extra may have potentially faulty PIP breast implants

 

Around 7,000 more women in the UK have received potentially faulty PIP breast implants than previously thought, the Government announced today.

Around 47,000 British women in total are now believed to have been given the implants manufactured by closed French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP).

The implants were filled with non-medical grade silicone intended for use in mattresses and have been linked to rupture and swelling in the body.

French authorities previously advised that only PIP implants that were used after 2001 may have included the unauthorised gel.

But following an investigation by the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), French authorities said this week that PIP implants made before 2001 may also contain the unauthorised silicone.

This could bring the total number of women affected by the scandal in the UK to around 47,000, including those affected before and after 2001.

According to the Department of Health, around one in five breast implants need replacing within 10 years, regardless of their make, and it says it is unlikely that all 7,000 extra women still have the implants in place.

In January the Government announced that anxious women given PIP breast implants on the NHS would be able to have them removed for free, with private firms expected to offer the same deal.

However, it said any woman refused help by a private company would be able to visit their GP and access NHS care.

This deal will now apply to any woman affected by today's update.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "The French regulator has confirmed this week that more women may be affected by the criminal activity of the French breast implant manufacturer PIP.

"These women are the victims of a fraudulent company and I know this situation is causing a huge amount of anxiety. I want to reassure those affected by the news today that they will be provided with all the help they need from the NHS.

"We are still working to get private clinics to live up to their responsibilities and look after their patients.

"Our commitment is to ensure support for all women from the NHS if needed; we will continue to press for the same standard of care or redress from private providers."

The vast majority of operations involving PIP implants were carried out in private clinics, including those run by Transform and the Harley Medical Group.

Earlier this year MHRA experts concluded there was no evidence to recommend routine removal of the implants. However, they said they could not entirely rule out that some were toxic.

As of the end of last week GPs had referred 4,534 patients for NHS care who received their PIP implants in private clinics.

Overall, 2,170 scans have been completed on these patients and 224 patients have decided to have their implants removed, with 51 operations performed to date.

Of those given breast surgery on the NHS, such as breast reconstruction following cancer, a total of 725 women have been contacted to date.

Some 34 scans have been completed among this group and 98 women have opted to have their implants removed, with 12 operations already having taken place.

Women are urged to find out if they have PIP implants and speak to their GP or surgeon if they are concerned.

Chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: "The expert group advises that there is no evidence to suggest that every woman with a PIP implant should have them removed. But we know this is a worrying time for them and want them to be able to see a GP or specialist to get reassurance and have them removed if necessary.

"All women who had the implants put in on the NHS will be able to have them removed and replaced by the NHS. We expect private clinics to offer their patients the same care. If they refuse, the NHS will provide advice, a scan and, if necessary, remove the implants.

"Private patients will not however be able to have their implants replaced on the NHS unless this is clinically necessary.

"We will be placing adverts in the weekend papers again to inform all women with PIP implants about the advice from the experts and how they can get help if they are concerned.

"I have also written to GPs today to remind them that we want them to help women with PIP implants."

In France, the government told 30,000 women they should have the implants removed while the Czech and German authorities have also recommended that women should also have them taken out.

Nigel Mercer, from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), said the UK may never know the true number of women who received PIP implants.

"It now looks as though the timebomb has completely exploded - I don't think we will definitely have caught all the women," he said.

"We know of some patients who do not know what implants they have got in and they have been unable to find out.

"Either the clinic has gone bust or the women were not told at the time of the original operation what was being put in.

"We may never completely know who does have them in or who doesn't - patient records only have to be kept my law for seven years."

He added: "The advice for women following today's announcement is as before - if you have a breast implant and you're not sure what you've got, ask your surgeon or clinic to provide you with the information."

PA

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
people

Mike Tyson branded 'superhero' after a surprise good turn

Sport
A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
Apple CEO Timothy Cook
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    KS1 Teacher Cornwall

    £20000 - £45000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...

    Early Years Teacher - Jan 2015 - China

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Position: Early Years TeacherRequired: J...

    KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

    £85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

    Day In a Page

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
    The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

    Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

    Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
    Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

    What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

    Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
    A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

    Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

    Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
    Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

    'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

    A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

    Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

    The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
    Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

    Paul Scholes column

    Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
    Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

    Frank Warren column

    Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
    Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

    Adrian Heath's American dream...

    Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
    Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes