Breast implants rupture in up to 1,000 women but Government still insists there is no need to remove them
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has given
clinics until Friday to submit full data on the implants
French health minister Xavier Bertrand has ordered a full investigation into the ‘truly contaminated’ implants
Dozens of clinics have now come forward to admit that breast implants they gave to women have ruptured – but the Government still insists there is no need to remove them en masse.
At least 50 clinics have reported burst, perished and broken implants made by French firm PIP to the medical watchdog since Friday.
The total number of women whose implants have ruptured is not known, but even conservative estimates suggest it could be as high as 1,000.
There is growing concern about the safety of the cheaply made implants, which used low-grade industrial silicone designed for mattresses
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has given clinics until Friday to submit full data on the implants and the results will be published next week.
There is growing concern about the safety of the cheaply made implants, which used low-grade industrial silicone designed for mattresses.
Last night, Fazel Fatah, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, who is advising Mr Lansley, said it would be impossible to get reliable figures but warned: ‘The point is not so much the rupture rates but that the quality of the silicone in these implants is not of medical grade.
Andrew Lansley, left has ordered clinics to produce data on the implants and Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, right, has criticised the cosmetic surgery industry for poor after-care 'when things go wrong'
'Therefore, the implants are not fit to be implanted into humans.’
Nigel Mercer, a former president of
BAAPS, said: ‘It would be sensible for the Government to say, “Take them
out” and then sort out the funding later.’
Labour said that the public had been
‘left in the dark’ and called for the 2.3billion private cosmetic
surgery industry, which carried out 95 per cent of the operations, to
French health minister Xavier Bertrand, pictured, has ordered a full investigation into the 'truly contaminated' implants
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham
said: ‘I get a sense that these individuals are very good at the sales
pitch and making money off people at the start but less good at
after-care and facing up to responsibilities when things go wrong.’
But the trade body for private medical clinics, Independent Healthcare Advisory Services, said it would be ‘irresponsible’ to remove all implants as any surgery carries risks, and, in any case, clinics couldn’t afford to foot the bill.
It said that an audit of thousands of cases by its members suggests the true rupture rate lies between 1 per cent and 2 per cent and so is ‘within the industry standard’.
As many as 50,000 women in the UK, including thousands of breast cancer survivors, have the fragile implants, so even a 2 per cent failure rate would take the number of ruptures to 1,000.
At the weekend, figures from private chain Transform suggested the true rupture rate to be 7 per cent.
But a spokesman said the figure was based on seven cases out of just 108 patients – too small a sample for robust statistics.
In France, between 5 per cent and 10 per cent have ruptured and the state is to fund removal from 30,000 women.
Last night, French health minister Xavier Bertrand ordered a full investigation into the ‘truly contaminated’ implants.