Yesterday the French government issued a statement they would pay for women with PIP breast implants to have them removed. A spokesman for the government Valerie Pecresse said: “It is a matter of urgency that all women who have had these PIP implants are identified and the implants removed.”
Over here in Britain the government has said any woman concerned about her breast implants should speak to the surgeon who originally operated on her, lalala. (I paraphrase)
PIP, formerly a world leader in silicone breast implant production, was popular due to the implants being so cheap. 18 months ago surgeons noticed these implants were more likely to rupture, causing the French health watchdog to launch an inquiry.
When the watchdog requested studies from the manufacturer regarding the safety of the filler there were none. This was because the manufacturer believed the product was for mattresses. In addition the implants were also shown to be without a protective coating that prevents splitting and leaking.
The implants are clearly faulty and even high quality implants carry their own risks.
Tests had failed to provide any concrete evidence that the PIP implants could be linked to cancer. However a recent death in France from an unusual type of cancer has reignited fears after the French Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery said the gel could have been an 'aggravating factor'.
In the UK until now there has been little reaction to the news regarding the implants. In France women with the PIP implants gathered together and staged a demonstration. The women argued the state had not done enough and was dismissing them as bimbos who had brought this misfortune upon themselves. Many had taken out loans for the implants and could not afford to have them removed.
2000 women in France have filed police complaints and a criminal investigation has now been opened. More cases of cancer amongst those with PIP implants have surfaced.
"We're facing a health crisis, linked to a fraud," said plastic surgeon Laurent Lantieri, who is a member of the state's advisory committee.
In the UK the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency are insisting there is still insufficient evidence to link the implants to cancer. I don’t see British women staging anything outside number 10. I do see Take A Break et al buying up stories “My time-bomb breasts could kill me”.
Of course the reasons for the difference between the French and the British reaction could be because:
A) The implants are dangerous and it is necessary they are removed
B) There is still not enough evidence to link the faulty implants to cancer
C) The French are currently being governed by the Daily Mail
Now, I'm not a doctor, not even in the Gillian McKeith sense of the title, but it's probably not a good idea to have non-medical silicon in your body.