Reuters – Up to 30,000 women in France faced the prospect on Tuesday (December 20) of having defective breast implants removed as specialists and pressure groups said the government was about to recommend the first recall of its type which could impact other countries where they were sold.
The implants were made by a company called PIP and were withdrawn from sale after it was discovered they contained a non-standard type of silicone that made them susceptible to breakage.
The government is due to announce its action plan this Friday but Professor Laurent Lantieri, a leading plastic surgeon who is on a committee set up to investigate the implants, said women would be called back to see their surgeons and offered the opportunity of having the implants removed.
“Progressively, we will put in place what is needed so that all the patients can be called in by their surgeon and if they wish, they can be explanted,” he said.
The implants made by PIP contained a special gel that did not leak when the implant was ruptured. But they were withdrawn after it was found their gels did not comply with medical regulations and the company has ceased trading.
More than 2,000 people carrying the implants have lodged criminal complaints.
Alexandra Blachere, the head of the French support group for women with PIP implants said the case could have major implications overseas for hundreds of thousands of women who had the implants fitted.
“It’s not just France that’s concerned. PIP was ranked third in the world and 87 percent was exported. So we’re looking at 300,000 to 400,000 potential victims around the globe,” she said, adding she had already been contacted by reporters from several countries around the world.