Reader Laura’s Comment:
“Is there any chance that these implants were used in the US? What signs should a woman be aware of in case she received one of these implants? How would a woman know if the implants she’s receiving are one of the best on the market and not a cheap knockoff?”
Tens of thousands of women with breast enlargements have been warned to have check-ups over fears they were given dangerous implants.
Up to 50,000 British women – including some breast cancer survivors – have implants filled with a silicone gel that may have been made for mattresses and so has not undergone vital safety tests.
In addition, there are concerns that a protective coating, designed to stop the implant from splitting and prevent any gel that leaks from spreading through the body, is missing.
This is a return of the PIP or Poly Implant Prothese story. This company marketed saline-filled implants in the US years ago, but did not have a PMA to market their silicone-gel product here. The bottom line on avoiding cheap “knock off” products is to avoid the bargain basement plastic surgery outfits. They are the ones that cut corners to make things cheap.
I remember that the PIP saline-filled implants were cheaper than the domestic version, but not by much. I used very few of them when I shared office space with another doctor usually at the patient’s request. In one case an implant suffered an early rupture and I never used them again. I never even saw one of their silicone-gel implants, but am not surprised that they were made poorly after my brief experience with PIP saline-filled implants.
As far as external signs of having these implants, there probably wouldn’t be any. I advise patients to keep their implant identification cards, so they know what they have implanted. I give them to my patients on the day of surgery.
John Di Saia MD