Today, the French Government released their decision and advice regarding the PIP implants. The 3 main points were :
- There is no link between PIP implants and breast tumours.
- However there is now established evidence of their increased risk of rupture. Contrary to their advice a year ago, they now advise all women with PIP implants to have the implants removed.
- The French government will fund the removal of the implants.
The UK advice to date has been :
- Check with your surgeon/clinic the make of your breast implants.
- If they are PIP implants, have an ultrasound.
- If the ultrasound shows weakening or rupture, have the implants removed with or without replacement.
- If the implants are intact, have 6 monthly monitoring by ultrasound.
My personal thoughts are :
- Women have implants for a variety of reasons but with the common goal of feeling more confident about themselves and having a better quality of life.
- I do not think it is possible to have a good quality of life with constant worries about implant rupture and the inconvenience of going for a 6 monthly check and ultrasound. There are cost implications as well.
- Furthermore it is easier to remove an implant while it is still intact compared to when it is already ruptured, with gel possibly contaminating the surrounding breast tissue.
- It is times like this that truly highlights how lucky we are as UK residents in having a healthcare system that is free to all who needs it. Women who haveproblems with their implants, even if the original surgery was done privately, have always had access to the NHS for investigations and removal. This should apply for women with PIP implants. The NHS does not offer replacement of the implants for obviousfinancial reasons and I think this is fair.
- Clinics/Surgeons who used the PIP implants, as part of good medical code of practice, should see their patients free of charge to give advice and offer cost price surgery for those that wish to have the implants replaced.
My personal advise and I must stress that this is strictly my own is :
- If you have PIP implants, particularly if there were inserted after 2001, have them removed.
- If you are still within the warranty period with the cosmetic clinic/surgeon, this should be free of charge.
- Otherwise, you have 2 options –
- see your GP for referral to the NHS for removal and consider replacement later when you are in a financial position to do so
- have the implants removed privately if you can afford this with or without replacement.
Read my previous blog on PIP implants.
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