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
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
News
news
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
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

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    Day In a Page

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing