UK confusion over French breast implant scare

A recent health scare in France around artificial breast implants has caused a surgeon in the UK to call for all faulty implants to be removed. Tim Goodacre is part of a review panel looking at products made by PIP, a French company, and has said that the risk of rupture in the company’s products is too high.

The government have said that the failure rate of the implants was only one in 100 but a private clinic said that the failure rate could be a little below 8%. Mr Goodacre commented, “This figure is far higher than anything we would deem acceptable.”

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, has ordered an enquiry into the company and its products but he has said that he does not think there is a particular cause for worry in those who had the implants. Mr Goodacre is the head of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons and he continued, “I do not think that there is a particular increased risk of cancer from the implants but I would recommend they are removed or replaced in the coming years.

If you buy a faulty product you want it replaced and this is exactly what should happen in this situation. Having good implants is something that has a very low health risk and those from the PIP company bring the entire industry into disrepute.We do not know whether these implants have a serious detrimental effect on health over the long-term, even if they rupture, but because we are not sure we are recommending that they be removed.”

Andy Burnham is the Shadow Health Secretary who has said, “The government need to issue coherent advice and clear guidelines to those people who have had the implants so they know what steps to take next.”