Pip breast implants DON'T cause cancer – but they are up to SIX TIMES as likely to rupture
Royal College of Surgeons say there should be mandatory databases on patient safety for all surgical implants and associated techniques

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UPDATED:

15:01 GMT, 18 June 2012

The faulty breast implants at the centre of a health scare are up to six times as likely to rupture as other brands – but do not cause cancer.

The ruling, by a panel of experts investigating the safety of the Frech-made PIP implants, was revealed today.

Their analysis revealed that although
the devices could cause irritation, there was no evidence that the gel
inside was toxic or were carciogenic.

Lawyers said official acknowledgement that the implants are sub-standard clears the way for women to sue.

A plastic surgeon displays a defective silicone gel breast implant manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prothese after he removed it from a patient

A plastic surgeon displays a defective silicone gel breast implant manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prothese after he removed it from a patient

Up to 47,000 British women, most of whom were private patients, were fitted with the controversial implants which were fraudulently filled with an industrial-grade silicone.

The investigation, led by the NHS’s medical director, included specially-commissioned tests on toxicity.

It found that although the implants are between two and six times as likely to perish or break open than other brands, their contents do not pose any long-term threat to health.

The report found PIP implants had
between six and 12 per cent chance of rupturing after five years rising
to 30 per cent after 10 years.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, led the surgeons, statisticians and ethicists who put together the report. It was based on data from 240,000 implants of differing brands that had been given to 130,000 women in England.

Professor Keogh said he hoped its conclusions would put patients’ minds at rest. It acknowledges that simple anxiety can be a real risk to a woman’s health – and reiterates the advice that the health service will remove implants put in privately but not replace them.

Professor Keogh said: ‘This has been an incredibly worrying time for women. We have been determined to look thoroughly at all available evidence so we are able to give them the best clinical advice possible.

‘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.

‘I sincerely hope this helps to reassure women that their long- term health is not at risk.’
The patient still 'in the dark'

However, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said that women should still have them out.

Nigel Mercer, the association’s past
president, said that although while industrial filling does not kill
cells, it can still pose problems, with leaks triggering the formation
of golf ball-sized lumps in the arm pits.

Mr Mercer said: ‘Our position is that these are sub-standard implants and should not be in the human body.

‘If a member of my family had them, I’d want them out.’

Lawyers said official acknowledgement that the implants are sub-standard clears the way for women to sue.

Mark Harvey, a partner at Hugh James
Solicitors in Cardiff, said: ‘We again call on the private implanting
clinics to take responsibility for this scandal and remove and replace
free of charge all the PIP breast implants that they have fitted.

‘We would also now expect the clinics
to agree to compensate our clients without further argument as to
whether these products are not fit for purpose or of satisfactory
quality.’

Anger: PIP breast implant patients protested outside The Harley Medical Group after they refused to remove and replace them for free

Anger: PIP breast implant patients protested outside The Harley Medical Group after they refused to remove and replace them for free

In January the Government announced that
anxious women given PIP breast implants on the NHS would be able to
have them removed free of charge, 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.

THE BOSS BEHIND THE SCANDAL

PIP boss Jean-Claude Mas, 72, is currently in prison awaiting trial
after failing to pay all of his bail money. He faces charges of causing
'involuntary injuries and 'causing bodily harm.'

The former travelling salesman who
started out selling meat and wine, founded PIP in 1991 to take advantage
of the booming market for cheap cosmetic implants.

Using a substandard gel enabled him to save the company about 1million a year and still increase sales.

He
insists that there was nothing wrong with the cut-price implants which,
at the height of his career as a medical supplies businessman, made him
a millionaire many times over.

He has also accused women who are trying to sue him of doing so solely 'for the money'.

Mas has since claimed that all the money
has gone, although investigators believe that much of his fortune was
simply passed on to Dominique Lucciardi, his former girlfriend, and
their two grown-up children.

The
latest data from the Department of Health shows that almost 750 women
are to have the implants removed on the NHS – 490 of whom had their PIP
implants put in at private clinics.

The report called for surgeons and clinics
that have used PIP implants to contact their patients and share the
latest information with them.

Professor Norman Williams, president
of The Royal College of Surgeons, said: 'The PIP breast implant issue
brought into sharp focus the need for better regulation and surveillance
for all surgical implants.

'With the publication of the final
report by the expert group, it is time to look to the future to ensure
no patient experiences unnecessary harm or distress from substandard
surgical implants.

'It
is the view of the College that we should, as a minimum, have mandatory
databases for all surgical implants and associated techniques which
would provide ongoing patient safety data.

'New surgical devices, and the techniques required to implant them, must be regulated so that they can be safely introduced into our healthcare system, disseminated appropriately and monitored in the long term.'

Last month a separate report revealed that raised official over the safety of PIP breast implants as long ago as 2006.

However, watchdogs failed to issue a
warning, fearing that to do so would lead to an ‘unwarranted scare which
could have serious commercial implications.’