Venezuelan Health Minister, Eugenia Sader, has announced that the full costs of removing the Poly Implant Prothèses (PIP) breast implants will be covered by the state. Ms. Sader emphasized that this offer stands for any woman who wishes to have them removed. French authorities have also offered to cover the full costs. The PIP breast implants have a higher risk of rupture, according to French health authorities.
Sader added that women should not be overly concerned, and that her announcement does not in any way represent an emergency measure. She advises patients to see their doctors and have their implants checked.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Health stressed that the state will cover just the cost of having them removed, and not replacing them with new ones.
The Venezuelan Network of Scientific Societies (Red de Sociedades Científicas de Venezuela - RSCV) has endorsed the Ministry's recommendations and applauds their offer to cover all surgical and medical costs.
Sader stressed that French health authorities said:
"There is no increased risk of cancer for women who received
these PIP silicon devices."
In a communiqué, the Venezuelan Health Ministry wrote:
"There is a high risk of rupture; and the gel may cause irritation, which in turn can result in an inflammatory reaction . . .
French authorities recommend they be removed, as a preventive measure. . . a non-urgent measure. (Sí hay un riesgo alto de rotura y de capacidad del gel en causar irritación que puede causar una reacción inflamatoria que hace difícil su remoción . . . Las autoridades francesas recomiendan un retiro preventivo, no urgente.)"
Sader said that patients who do not wish to remove their implants should have a scan every six months to check for ruptures.
Dr. Marisol Graterol, President of the Venezuelan Society of Plastic Surgery (Sociedad Venezolana de Cirugía Plástica) said that:
"The PIP implants pose no biological
threat to patients."
Dr. Graterol advises all women who received these implants to have them checked by their doctor. She emphasized that there is no danger to health, and that patients should remain calm.
This is not a medical emergency, say French health authoritiesXavier Bertrand, French Minister of Health, told his citizens that the announcement regarding PIP implants poses no threat to human health - it is not an urgent matter.
However, information centers, clinics and government help lines have been flooded with enquiries over the last few days.
UK Health Authorities issue contradicting messageUnited Kingdom officials say that PIP breast implant recipients do not need to have them removed - an announcement that contradicts what their French counterparts have said.
The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), the UK's equivalent of the US FDA, insists that there is no evidence linking these implants with cancer risk. 40,000 women in the UK are thought to have received this implant.
The UK Department of Health advises concerned females to check with their doctors (specifically, the surgeons who fitted them). 95% of PIP silicone implants in the UK were done privately, and less than 5% were carried out within the National Health Service (NHS).
Esylllt Hughes, a lawyer representing 250 British females in planned legal action, claims that over 50% of the implants have ruptured (Source: AFP).
According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), PIP used a non-medical type of silicone, said to be used for making bed-mattresses. These devices are much cheaper than other silicone implant products, and are more susceptible to rupturing.
Poly Implants Prothèses (PIP)Poly Implants Prothèses, often referred to as PIP, was a company which was set up in France in 1991 and produced breast implants. It was founded by a former butcher, Jean-Claude Mas. According to Wikipedia, the founder worked for Bristol Myers company (Bristol Myers Squibb) as a medical sales rep for 15 years.
The company went into liquidation earlier this years. Jean-Claude Mas and his company PIP are at the heart of a public health care inquiry.
PIP is believed to have produced approximately 2 million implants (100,000 annually for 20 years). French health authorities say up to 300,000 adult females may have had PIP implants fitted to repair lost tissue or enhance breast size.
PIP devices had been exported to other Western European countries, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, and some other nations.
Written by Christian Nordqvist