Are Your Breast Implants Safe?

Here's another reason to find a trustworthy plastic surgeon. Recently, over 30,000 women in France were given breast implants made with industrial-grade silicone, instead of medical-grade product. Why? Because the French company, Poly Implant Prosthesis (or PIP) decided to cut corners and use less-expensive materials. In some women, even the shell of the implants were prone to rupture or gel leakage.

About four women who received the PIP implants have been diagnosed with cancer, and one woman has even died from it. French investigators are ruling her death as a possible involuntary homicide.

PIP has since been closed, but over 2,000 women have filed complaints. Many of the victims are even appealing to the government to pay for the removal of the faulty implants.

“What matters here is that we have a company that engaged in unscrupulous practices, and individuals have been harmed,” says Eugene, Ore. cosmetic surgeon Mark Jewell, MD. “These women need to be taken care of, but I think the other message here is that the millions of women that have implants that are made by reputable companies appear to have a good long-term safety profile .”

Major implant manufacturers test their products and use quality control, plus post-market surveillance so they can track adverse events and deal with them. Dr. Jewell says that patients and doctors have to trust that their implants have been manufactured properly-with the highest quality materials and the lowest risk. The importance of long-term follow up is also an important consideration for breast implant patients.

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