British women left to foot the bill for PIP implants removal

January 9, 2012

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Thousands of British women will have to pay from their own pocket for the removal of faulty silicone breast implants manufactured by the French company Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP), which is now closed.

This comes despite the French government’s decision on 23rd of December to pay for 30,000 operations following safety concerns about the unusually high implant rupture rate.

According to The Telepgraph, the French authorities have advised women to have the PIP silicone implants removed "as a preventive measure", due to possible links to cancer.

However, the French Department of Health also aknowledged the lack of enough evidence to support these claims.

Currently more than 40,000 Birtish women have PIP implants, but NHS announced that only ruptured implants would be removed free of charge. The women who want them removed for 'peace of mind' will have to pay the bill themselves.

UK regulators have insisted there is no link with cancer and hence, no need for women to have the implants removed. However, more than 270 women in the UK intend to sue those clinics where they underwent surgery.

The Department of Health said it was not echoing the French advice as there was no evidence to support it.

"While we respect the French government's decision, no other country is taking similar steps because we currently have no evidence to support it,” said chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies.

"Because of this, and because removing these implants carries risk in itself, we are not advising routine removal of these implants."

However, health experts will continue to examine any further evidence from across the world on the issue and the Government will keep the situation under close review, she added.

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