Saturday, 24 December 2011

PIP Breast Implant Scare Leads to Arrest

Article by
Kevin Timms
Interpol are seeking the founder of Poly Implant Prothese, Jean-Claude Mas for offences relating to “life and health”.

The warrant for Mr Mas’ arrest relates to the issues surrounding the PIP breast implants and global health crisis that these controversial implants have caused. In the UK it is thought that 40,000 to 50,000 women have PIP Breast Implants.

The French health authorities have recommended that all 30,000 French women have their PIP breast implants removed as a “preventative measure”.

Both the UK and French health authorities have confirmed that PIP breast implants do not cause cancer. However, unlike the MHRA, the UK medical device regulator, the French authorities have carried out extensive testing on PIP breast implants to establish why the implants are known to have premature rupture rates.

During these tests the French authorities established that the shell of PIP breast implants is much more fragile than other breast implants on the market and that the silicone gel used inside PIP breast implants was actually of industrial grade rather than medical grade – PIP breast implants are therefore made with a silicone gel not intended (or tested) for use with humans.

The French tests further confirmed that the silicone gel does not have the same properties as that of other ‘high cohesive silicone gel’ breast implants. PIP breast implants were sold on the basis that the high cohesive silicone gel within them would not leak if the implant ruptured and they were commonly described as ‘gummy bear’ breast implants.

As the French health authorities became more aware of the abnormally high premature rupture rate of PIP breast implants they also became increasingly aware of that fact that the PIP breast implant silicone was leaking and migrating to other parts of the body, commonly the arm pits and lymph nodes. This then required extensive surgery to remove the ruptures PIP breast implants and, in many case, the lymph nodes also – clearly and associated health risk with PIP breast implants.

Furthermore, the French health authorities have confirmed that the PIP silicone can perspire (‘ooze’) through the implant shell without any actual rupture or tear of the shell itself. This phenomenon is supposed to be an early one and generally occurs within the first three years after implantation. Therefore women with PIP breast implants are subject to early exposure of the unauthorised silicone gel and often there are no clinical signs that this has occurred and ultrasound and MRI scans may not be able to pick up this occurrence.

Whilst the MHRA in the UK has tested the PIP breast implant silicone, their tests were only in respect of genotoxicity and cytoxicity (whether the gel causes cancer and other toxic effects). The MHRA has not tested the gel to explore whether there are any irritant properties in the gel that can have an adverse reaction to human tissue. The French authorities did conduct testing into the irritant properties in the PIP breast implant silicone gel. They found that PIP breast implant silicone gel can cause inflammation and this is one reason why women experience pain and burning sensation.

The French health authorities have stated that there are “well established risks of ruptures” in PIP breast implants. The MHRA has stated that there is not additional risks with PIP breast implants.

As a result of the MHRAs refusal to investigate the problems with the PIP breast implants further, Garden House Solicitors have set up a National PIP Breast Implant Register. Whilst the MHRA say that the rupture rate of PIP breast implants in the UK is only 1% Garden House Solicitors and a number of top UK surgeons believe that the number of ruptures is actually much higher. We wish to establish a more accurate picture of what is happening to women with PIP breast implants and intend to release the Register statistics periodically to show what trends are appearing with regards to these implants. We urge anyone with PIP breast implants to register their details with the National PIP Breast Implant Register. Visit the Register at http://www.pipbreastimplantregister.co.uk/ a member of the PIP breast implant team will be in contact to take full registration details.

Garden House Solicitors are also making PIP Breast Implant Compensation Claims against the private cosmetic surgery clinics  which provided the PIP breast implants. We have issued a group action in the High Court of Justice in London against a number of cosmetic surgery clinics. If you are interested in making a PIP breast implant claim please email info@gardenhousesolicitors.co.uk or telephone 01992 422 128.

Garden House Solicitors are at the forefront of bringing PIP breast implant claims and taking action where the MHRA and UK authorities have not by compiling a National PIP Breast Implant Register. If you have concerns we will be there for you in your time of need.


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