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Reassurance for women with PIP implants

10 January 2012

An urgent expert review, commissioned by the UK Department of Health has reported that there is no evidence of greater risk for patients with PIP breast implants than for breast implants in general.  Specifically, there is no evidence to recommend that PIP implants should be routinely removed.

The expert group concluded that PIP implants are not associated with a higher risk of cancer, or a higher risk of rupture, than other silicone gel implants.

The Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) can confirm that it is not aware of any public patients who have had breast surgery in Jersey, or reconstructive surgery in Winchester via HSSD, involving the use of PIP implants.

Jersey’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Turnbull said “Women who have had PIP implants, or believe they may have had them, will naturally have been worried that they could be at risk – especially in these last few weeks when the some of the information emerging through the national media has been conflicting. I am aware that some women here in Jersey have been asking their GPs for advice, or their surgeons, because they are worried.  I am very pleased that the outcome of the expert review is so reassuring. 

“If despite the reassurance of the expert review there are any women who are still concerned, she should discuss these concerns with her doctor. There is no suggestion that any urgent action is needed on the basis of possible PIP risk.  Women should take their time to weigh up the pros and cons of having a further operation earlier than would normally be necessary – no implant lasts indefinitely.  An important consideration is that implant removal in itself carries a degree of risk, as does any surgical operation.”

“I believe there are some women in Jersey who have had their breast implant operations privately, who may be unsure if they had PIP implants or not.  These women, if concerned about PIP, should contact their private surgeon for advice in the first instance."

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