PIP silicone implants – cheaper may end up being more costly in the long run.

There has been a lot of news in the media recently regarding the French-manufactured PIP (Poly Implant Prosthese) implants. The French authority have removed these implants from the market as it has failed the normal regulatory tests. This only relates to PIP implants inserted after 01 January, 2001. It appears that after this date, the manufacturers did not adhere to the manufacturing standard initially submitted for approval. Prior to this date, the implants were manufactured according to the standard process.

The good news is, after extensive tests, the MHRA have issued a statement reassuring women that there is no current evidence of health risks or indications for explantation or extensive investigations.

My personal advice to these women would be to keep a close eye on the breast for changes in shape, size or consistency. If any of these occur, consult a plastic surgeon for advice and an ultrasound to exclude rupture. Check on my website or blog regularly for an update as further tests are carried out on these implants.

I would like to reassure all my patients that I have never used a PIP implant but have removed several due to rupture.

The lesson learnt here is to be more selective in the choice of cosmetic surgeons and clinics. The PIP implants were very competitively priced and used by many cosmetic clinics offering a significantly lower fee for breast implant surgery. Cheaper may end up being more costly in the long run, not just financially but psychologically and physically.

Do your research before deciding on the procedure, the surgeon and the hospital. A good place to start is with the BAAPS website which is a not for profit organisation set up for providing unbiased advice to patients considering cosmetic surgery.

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