Rise in PIP breast implant ruptures sparks fresh fears

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According to the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery all brands of breast implants carry a risk of rupture. Spokesman Dr Daniel Fleming said a rupture rate of 13.6 per cent over eight years is a normal rate for major brand Mentor.

The warning comes after news yesterday that the number of Australian women with ruptured PIP breast implants has risen to 220, almost 50 more than last month. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Thursday said there had now been 220 confirmed cases of the faulty implants rupturing, and 31 unconfirmed cases. This is up from 171 confirmed and 26 unconfirmed cases a month ago.

Authorities have found French company Poly Implant Prothese used industrial rather than medical-grade silicon gel. Between 300,000 and 400,000 women in 65 countries are believed to have PIP breast implants, with about 6000 of those in Australia. PIP implants were used in Australia between September 1999 and April 2010 before they were recalled following advice from the French regulator.

The Australian government has advised that routine removal of the implants is unnecessary when there is no evidence of rupture. Medicare rebates are available for MRI scans and surgery to remove and replace ruptured PIP breast implants or if doctors believe the patient is suffering significant anxiety. The rebates do not cover the cost of replacement breast implants.

Toxicity tests carried out by international agencies and the TGA has found no evidence that chemicals in PIP implants are toxic. However, in an update to its website on Monday, the TGA said its cytotoxicity tests were continuing.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

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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