Faulty French Implants To Be Investigated In Uk: Other Countries Gearing Up To Pay For Their Removal
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Faulty French Implants to Be Investigated In Uk: Other Countries Gearing Up to Pay for Their Removal

A French company that was ordered closed in the spring of 2010 is once again in the news according to a new investigation launched by British Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. This investigation coincides with announcements by other countries in Europe and South America directly related to the defunct producer of poly implant prostheses (PIP) which had been used from roughly 2001 until being pulled off the market at the behest of the French medical authority in March. That French agency reported that the implants were plagued with problems, including a much higher risk of puncture and leakage as well as concerns over what the implants were actually filled with. An investigation at the company's laboratory revealed that the gel inside of the implants were made of a different composition then was used when it applied for European Union approval. According to sources, that gel consisted of industrial grade silicone instead of the medical grade that would normally be used. Health authorities are unsure of what risks that silicone may pose to the women if the implant does leak.

British Medicines and Healthcare Products Registry has said that there was no immediate proof that there was an increased risk of cancer nor an excessive risk of implant rupture to warrant immediate removal, however, the authorities are conducting an investigation and are urging women to have their implants checked by the surgeon that originally placed them. An estimated 40,000 women in the United Kingdom alone have had these particular implants placed before the company was ordered to close.

Professor Bruce Keogh, the Medical Director of the British National Health Services will head up the investigation into the impact of these implants and what, if any, further action should be taken.

In France, the French Health Systems have announced that the implants do require immediate removal and will pay for those procedures. Brazil, who had permanently banned these particular implants from use in the country are also suggesting that women have them immediately removed. The Brazilian government has not agreed to pay for those procedures. In Venezuela, women will be given free procedures to remove the implants. A group of women in Argentina have threatened to sue if replacement implants are not given to them at the government's expense.

What new evidence has prompted the investigation in the UK has not been revealed, but test results of the health risks for industrial grade silicone may have played a role in prompting the concern.


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