Major surgery is not something any of us typically sign up for. But for decades, women across the globe have been electing to have plastic surgery, with the most popular procedure being breast augmentation surgery.
Little did they know their presumed one-time elective surgery might someday necessitate another.
According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the global plastic surgery industry is currently monitoring a situation in France where several silicone implants have been shown to have ruptured and therefore, leak.
The ASPS reports that the defective silicone implants were manufactured by a French company known as Poly Implant Prothèse or PIP, and were never approved for use in the United States. Unfortunately, women in the United States and elsewhere are getting that note a little late.
Poly Implant Prothèse was officially shut down from producing the silicone implants in 2010.
It is estimated that over 30,000 French women were implanted with silicone PIP breast implants, and the ASPS suggests that these and all women with them are advised to have them removed for health reasons.
Aside from causing obvious cosmetic dissatisfaction with a leaking breast implant, a ruptured implant can be extremely dangerous to the woman's health, including a possible increased risk for developing cancer.
Breast augmentation can be accomplished through several different methods such as fat transfer, Macrolane, silicone implants, and saline implants. A leaky saline implant would present no health risk to a woman, but industrial silicone is not something any woman would want floating around in her body.
In Britain, the Daily Telegraph reports that the suspected number of ruptured implants is flat out unacceptable.
Dr. Tim Goodcare, president of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, as well as an Oxford University lecturer says that, “With this sort of level of implant failure, particularly with this sort of material that isn’t medical grade, it’s sensible that they be removed,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “I think that would be a reasonable way forward.”
So for the tens of thousands of women who have been implanted with PIP silicone implants, they now face the possibility of extra surgeries to remove and possible re-do their breast augmentation.
The process of replacing these women's silicone implants would obviously take a lot of time as well as money.
The Telegraph reports that "At the moment the Department of Health is only prepared to fund removal of the ‘PIP’ implants if they have already ruptured, causing industrial-grade silicone to leak into surrounding tissue."
Hopefully not all women with breast implants will have to suffer through a leaky implant ordeal, but if you suspect your breast implants might have malfunctioned, it’s best to contact your plastic surgeon as soon as possible.
To learn more about breast augmentation options, contact a plastic surgeon near you.
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.