- PIP breast implants were sold under a different brand name in Europe
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons issues a warning to women who have gone abroad for breast augmentation – following reports of implant rupture from patients who never suspected they were given controversial devices now taken off the market. PIP implants, it has emerged, were being sold under a different name in some of the most popular cosmetic surgery tourism destinations around Europe, regularly visited by British patients seeking low-cost procedures.
It has been estimated that around 50,000 women in the UK have Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) breast implants, but the discovery that the fraudulent devices were also sold in countries such as Belgium, Poland and the Czech Republic under re-branded name ‘M-Implant’ by Dutch firm Rofil Medical means that the number of women who should be on the alert is much higher. Studies last year found that the company originally making the low-cost implants, which has since gone into administration, not only dispensed with a protective shell but used an untested gel, said to have been intended for use in mattresses.
- Breast Implants (no specific brand)
Although the French medical device regulatory authority (AFSSAPS) found no acute toxicity (cytotoxicity) effect on tissue, tests for genotoxicity (effect of the gel on DNA of cells) did not give a conclusive result and further extensive testing will need to take place.
PIP implants were known to have been popular with the larger domestic chains and commercial clinics because of their low cost. It has been estimated that 60,000 people travel out of the UK for medical tourism every year, and roughly a third of those do so specifically for cosmetic surgery.