Fear of ruptures spurs recall of silicone breast implants in France

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Breast enhancement surgery utilizes implants that are essentially bags containing silicone gel. One of the commonest complications of this procedure is the rupture of these silicone implants that may necessitate a repeat procedure. In a new development the implants made French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), have reportedly double the risk of rupturing than other implants. Many breast implants used by Australian women have been recalled overseas for containing unauthorised silicone gel.

A spokeswoman for the Therapeutic Goods Administration said: ''The TGA is aware of this and is investigating the implications for Australian consumers.'' Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery spokesman Daniel Fleming said women with breast implants need not panic but should contact their surgeon. If they had had the PIP implants they could also go in for an ultrasound examination that can detect if there is a rupture. According to him a rupture is not really dangerous. ''About 3 per cent of implants will rupture after a 10-year period,'' he said. He said an estimation of the number of implants already used is difficult but in his own practice he stopped using this brand for some years now due to his satisfactory results with another brand. Another cosmetic surgeon Dr Anoop Rastogi also echoed this saying that he had stopped using the PIP implants five years ago after some of his patients had ruptured implants.

France's health regulatory agency AFSSAPS, (Agence Francaise de Securite Sanitaire des Produits de Sante), had initially inspected PIP's offices because of reports their implants were twice as likely to rupture than other implants. The agency said there is no sign the implants caused "different complications than those usually seen with other types of breast implants pre-filled with silicone gel" — though it said there was a "higher frequency of rupture and local inflammatory reactions." A recall has already been issued in France and Sweden by PIP.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

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Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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