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Concern that Irish women could be affected by faulty breast implants

The Irish Medicines Board and the Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons has played down cancer fears but urged any concerned patients who have received the implants to consult their surgeon.

French doctor Maurice Mimoun, a plastic surgeon, holds silicone gel breast implants made by French company Poly Implant Prothese, or PIP, that he removed from a patient because of concerns that they are unsafe.
French doctor Maurice Mimoun, a plastic surgeon, holds silicone gel breast implants made by French company Poly Implant Prothese, or PIP, that he removed from a patient because of concerns that they are unsafe.
Image: Michel Euler/AP/Press Association Images

IRISH WOMEN WHO have had breast implants could be affected by the batch of faulty silicone implants made by a French company which have prompted a heath scare in France and the UK.

The Irish Medicines Board said it had recalled the implants – which are no longer being made by the now-defunct company – in March of last year but it has today advised all implanting hospitals to contact anyone who may have received these implants after 1 January 2001.

It is reported that as many as 1,500 women in Ireland could be affected by the faulty implants.

It comes as tens of thousands of women in France and Britain were advised of the danger of particular type of implant made by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) which some fear may be carcinogenic.

The implants were made of low grade silicone which is used for things like mattresses. Such implants are more likely to split, causing them to leak into a patient’s body. There have also been fears they could be potentially carcinogenic.

However, speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, spokesman for the Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons Professor Michael Earley said it was important to underline there was not a cancer scare.

“There is actually no definite cancer link between any of these implants and in particular this PIP implant,” he said.

He advised anyone who may have undergone a breast implant procedure to watch for any irregularities including lumpiness, pain or swelling under the arms.

The IMB said it has continued to liaise with colleagues in Europe and the implanting hospitals and clinics affected by the issue to ensure that the relevant patients are made aware of the issue

It also recommended that patients who are concerned about their PIP implants consult their implanting surgeon.

Read: Thousands advised to remove breast implants over leaking concerns

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Hugh O'Connell

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