Breast Implants: 3,000 UK Women at Risk
Byline: Jo Macfarlane MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT
HEALTH Secretary Andrew Lansley yesterday ordered an urgent review into controversial breast implants as it was revealed that more than 3,000 British women could be at risk.
The review, by NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, will investigate claims made on Friday by an unnamed private cosmetic surgery provider, which suggested that more women have reported problems with the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) implants than was previously thought.
The Government has so far attempted to reassure the 40,000 British women who have the French-manufactured implants, despite a global health scare. The implants were found to contain industrial-grade silicone intended for use in mattresses. Reports last night indicated that the proportion of women in danger of the implants rupturing is eight per cent, which could mean some 3,200 women in Britain are affected.
The UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, had previously indicated the risk was one per cent.
The implants were banned 18 months ago and last month French authorities said women should have them removed as a precaution over fears that a rupture could leak the silicone into the bloodstream. Yesterday Mr Lansley said there was 'no evidence' of a safety concern and repeated the Government's advice that the implants did not need to be routinely removed. However, he admitted that the new data had left him 'concerned and unhappy'.
He added: 'We are doing everything we can to ensure that women with these implants get the best possible advice. So far, all the evidence from around the world suggests that women should not be worried and there have not been abnormal levels of problems reported with these implants. …