Early in 2012 TEK reported on the plight of many women in the UK who had PIP breast implants. Whilst some had undergone surgery for these implants due to a cosmetic reason, some had done so following treatment for breast cancer.
However patients had come by these PIP breast implants though they were bad news. It was reported that they contained a low grade of silicone and could cause health problems. As the mainstream media reported world wide many of the women involved became extremely anxious. That was understandable. Initially the private clinics in the NHS where some women had received the PIP implants refused to act.
There was an outcry and a great deal of publicity and then the story faded away. That as we all know does not always mean that any issues have been resolved.
This latest report agrees that the implants are substandard but claims that they do not pose any significant health risks. The silicone used in PIP implants has been proven to be industrial grade and not suitable for use in an implant for a person.
Today the UK has published its latest findings regarding the French PIP implants. They have decided after a study that although they may carry a higher risk of rupture they do not cause cancer and are not toxic. Many women will see this as a cost induced finding.
In 2010 the use of these PIP implants was banned world wide. The PIP company went bankrupt later that same year and the death of a woman in France from cancer was said to be as a result of one of these implants.
The product has caused problems in many countries. It is not approved for use in the US. The UK's latest report will not please those who feel that they have had a raw deal at the expense of PIP. NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, who ran the review, said, "This has been an incredibly worrying time for women."Repeated tests on different batches of PIP implants have been carried out in the UK, France and Australia according to international standards. "Those tests have shown that the implants are not toxic and therefore we do not believe they are a threat to the long-term health of women who have PIP implants".
Sadly only time will tell.
The advice for women who experience health concerns is to contact their GP. The removal of the breast implant can still take place. What however is shocking is that "so far 750 women have already, or will, have their implants removed on the NHS - 490 of whom had the implants put in at private clinics." That is a disgrace.
Having pocketed the money for implanting the PIPs their removal should be funded by those clinics also. Of course many have claimed that the burden would mean these clinics would have to close. With a government focused on increasing private health care that is bad news.
However so is the additional burden on the cash strapped NHS.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog