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France advises women with possibly defective breast implants

Published by admin on December 24, 2011


The French government advises about 30,000 women with breast implants made by Poly Implants Protheses, or PIP, to consult their surgeons about removal.
The French government has advised about 30,000 women to remove possibly defective breast implants, but is saying there is no proof they pose a cancer risk.

The implants, manufactured by French company Poly Implants Protheses, or PIP, contained nonmedical industrial silicone. Women with these implants have been told by the government to consider consulting their surgeons. Besides the 30,000 women in France, 40,000 women in Britain are thought to be affected, as well as tens of thousands more around the world.

French women who got the implants after reconstructive surgery will be reimbursed by the government for their medical fees to have the implants replaced. Women who got them for cosmetic reasons will not receive government reimbursement.

French Health Minister Xavier Bertrand said he was encouraging women to have the implants removed as a preventive measure but one that was not urgent.

A panel of French scientists and health experts with the National Cancer Institute said Thursday that there was “no increased risk of cancer for women with PIP implants.” But it said the higher risk of the PIP implants rupturing justified the recommendation.

Nine women in France who had the implants are suffering from a rare form of cancer.

Former executives of PIP have been summoned before a judge in Marseilles to answer accusations of “aggravated falsehoods.” Jacques Dallest, the Marseilles public prosecutor, said he hoped criminal proceedings could be launched within a “reasonable time.”

PIP, the third-largest manufacturer of silicon implants, was closed down by French authorities in 2010 after being accused of cutting corners by fraudulently using an unapproved silicone gel in its products for almost 10 years. The nonmedical grade silicone is believed to have been designed for use in mattresses.

An estimated 2,200 French women have filed lawsuits against the company with the prosecutor’s office in Marseilles.

( Source: latimes.com/ By Kim Willsher, Los Angeles Times )

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