21 Dec 2011

France may order 30,000 to remove implants

10:12 pm on 21 December 2011

French authorities say they will decide this week whether to ask 30,000 women given a potentially defective type of breast implant to have them removed.

There are concerns that the implants supplied by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) carry potential health risks, according to the newspaper Liberation.

PIP was found last year to have used a non-authorised silicone gel that caused abnormally high implant rupture rates.

The French government has formed a special committee to look at the issue.

"We have to remove all these implants," Dr Laurent Lantieri, a plastic surgeon on the committee, told the newspaper. "We're facing a health crisis, linked to a fraud."

Government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse told French television that a plan of action would be unveiled later this week.

According to the Le Monde newspaper, 523 implants have been removed since the defects were discovered.

Health Director General Jean-Yves Grall told Liberation that eight cases of cancer have so far been reported in patients with PIP implants. A ninth patient in Gers died of cancer last year.

Mr Grall said that all costs related to the removal of the implants would be reimbursed

Police say they have received 2000 complaints from women who received the implants and have opened a criminal investigation into the company.

The BBC reports PIP implants were also exported. It is thought that as many as 50,000 British women may have them.