Israel opens hotline for women with PIP breast implants as fear spreads
Health Ministry deals with around 1,000 patients Prompted by French Government”s decision to cover cost of implant removal
Despite reassurance surrounding the controversial breast implants at the centre of a global health scare, fear is continuing to spread.
Israel”s Health Ministry have now opened a special hotline to provide medical advice after it was believed that products made by the defunct company Poly Implant Prostheses could be linked to increased cancer risk.
The decision was prompted by the French Government”s announcement that it would foot the bill for 30,000 women with the implants, to have them removed.
Burst: Plastic surgeon Denis Boucq holding defective silicone gel breast implants, which were removed from a patient
It is estimated that 850 women in Israel have the PIP implants, some of the cheapest available, representing 5 per cent of the total number whohave undergone the cosmetic procedure.
Concerns about their safety first surfaced 18 months ago, when surgeons noticed they were rupturing much more quickly than other brands.
The French health watchdog ordered an inquiry, which subsequently reported ‘serious irregularities’ in the implants and they were pulled off the market.
Manufacturers were accusedof fraudulently using a non-approved silicone gel for almost 10 years which believed to have been originally designed for mattresses.
Threat: The”low quality” implants contain industrial silicone – designed for computers and electronic devices – instead of medical-grade fillers
Theyhave a higher than normal rupture rate – up to five per cent among French women – and have been linked to the death of a French woman from arare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), and implicated in at least seven other cancer cases.
Ithas also emerged many of the implants were missing a protective coatingdesigned to stop them from splitting and prevent any gel that leaked from spreading through the body.
It was feared that leaked gel could trigger cancer but to date tests have remained inconclusive.
The Israeli Health Ministry hotline has already dealt with around 1,000 concerned patients over the weekend.
The hotline information indicates that PIP implant procedures were not conducted in public hospitals but more common at private medical centers.
About 300,000 PIP implants, which are used in cosmetic surgery to enhance breast size or replace lost breast tissue, were sold worldwide before the company went into administration last year.
PIP implant procedures have now been banned in Israel.
Up to now, there have been very few reported cases of the removal of ruptured implants in the Middle East, and no reports have circulated about new cases of leakage in recent weeks.
Sally Taber, director of the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS) supported moves to reassure women.
Shesaid ‘We are pleased to see that health and regulatory experts from theNetherlands, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Denmark, Maltaand Australia have all confirmed no evidence of any increase in incidents of cancer associated with PIP breast implants and no evidence of any disproportionate rupture rates.
‘France are looking increasingly isolated in their stance and their pre-emptive statements have caused unnecessary alarm.
‘Our advice is that anyone concerned about their breast implants should contact their GP or implanting surgeon.”