June 18, 2012

Report: PIP breast implants are not toxic

The latest report on the safety of PIP breast implants concludes the silicone gel used in the implants is not toxic and is not a long-term threat to health.

The report, led by NHS Medical Director Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, states that despite the silicone used in the implants being of industrial grade it is neither toxic nor carcinogenic and has not been linked to cancer. However, the report does recognise that the implants are almost twice as likely to rupture as other products.

Around 47,000 women across the country have PIP implants with 95% of these being fitted through private cosmetic surgery clinics.

In January, following an initial report, the government announced it would offer those women who had the implants fitted on the NHS to have them removed and replaced. For women who had them fitted through a private clinic the NHS in England and Scotland would only offer removal of the implants. In contrast, the NHS in Wales offered all women with PIP implants the ability to have them removed and replaced for free.

Following the scandal many private clinics refused to offer free removal and replacement for patients, leaving many women with little option other than to live with the fear of potential health risks or pay a significant sum to have the implants removed and replaced.

Following this latest report the Government has not changed its advice and the NHS in England and Scotland will still only offer free removal of implants.

Prof Keogh said that thorough tests have “shown that the implants are not toxic and therefore we do not believe they are a threat to the long-term health of women who have PIP implants.

“We have however found that these implants are substandard, when compared to other implants and that they are more likely to rupture. We would therefore advise that women who have symptoms of a rupture – for example tenderness, soreness or lumpiness – should speak to their surgeon of GP”.

Chris Livingston, Partner in Holmes & Hills’ Personal Injury Team, is dealing with a significant number of PIP breast implant compensation claims on behalf of women across the UK. Chris said “This report will finally give some piece of mind to the many women affected by this scandal. Nevertheless, despite this positive news, many questions still remain as to how such substandard products could have ever been released to the mass market and also the government’s ability to work with regulatory bodies and private clinics to effectively deal with the problem.”

Chris went on to say: “Despite the finding of this latest report many women have suffered a range of health problems as a result of their implants rupturing. We would advise anyone who believes they may have suffered injury or illness as a result of their PIP implants to contact us for information on making a free claim for compensation.”

Holmes & Hills has team of specialist clinical negligence solicitors that represent clients across the country, advising and representing them in claiming compensation for medical negligence that has caused them pain and suffering.

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