Sunday 19 January 2020

One-in-20 women had ruptures in 'fragile' implants

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

ONE-in-20 women who were given the controversial PIP breast implants suffered ruptures, latest figures show.

Figures compiled by the Department of Health so far show that the rupture rate in Ireland is 5pc. The ruptures happened within a month of surgery in some cases, and in others after as long as eight years.

Tests in other countries have already confirmed that PIP implants were extra-fragile and filled with industrial-grade silicone usually used in the manufacture of mattresses.

It was believed around 1,500 women got the implants in Ireland but that number has now slightly increased.

It also emerged this week that more women may have been fitted with the implants than previously thought, after it was revealed that they were used before 2001. Previously it was believed they were only used between 2001 and 2010.

Rupture rates for different implants vary according to how long they have been in the body.

About one breast implant in every five needs replacing within 10 years, whatever the make.

Health Minister James Reilly said: "The scientific opinion concludes that further work is proposed to establish with greater certainty the health risks, if any, that may be associated with PIP silicone breast implants."

His department and the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) are continuing to review advice for recipients of PIP implants, he said in a parliamentary reply to Fine Gael Kildare TD, Bernard Durkan.

The minister said the Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan would meet with women who have the implants. It was originally believed that around 1,500 women were given the implants in private clinics here.

Largest

It is understood only around a dozen or so Irish women may have got the implants before 2001. The Harley Medical Group, the largest user of the implants here, said it only set up in Ireland in late 2000.

A spokesman for Clane Hospital in Kildare, where the implants were also used, said yesterday it did not use them before 2001. The Shandon Hospital in Cork, which also performed a number of the operations, was uncontactable.

"The advice from the IMB and my department continues to be that there is no evidence of increased risk of cancer for women with this brand of implant, the risk of rupture is low and anyone with a concern about their breast implants should discuss the matter with their GP or surgeon," added Dr Reilly.

Irish Independent

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