Hundreds more women with PIP implants here
THE number of Irish women thought to have PIP breast implants is now believed to be higher.
Until now, some 1,500 Irish women have been identified as having received the faulty Poly Implant Prosthesis (PIP) implants between 2001 and 2010.
However, hundreds more Irish women are now believed to have the breast implants at the centre of a cancer scare. It is understood that these women underwent breast augmentation prior to 2001.
"To date, all advice issued internationally regarding the PIP breast implants issue has referred to patients who received PIP breast implants from 2001 to 2010.
Sarita Clery (31) from Lucan in Dublin is just one of the women who had a breast augmentation operation 10 years ago.
She maintains that the Irish response to the concerns of women who have had the procedure here is very unfair.
"The scientific report from the top experts in Europe says they cannot guarantee there are no health risks until more testing is undergone on explanted implants," said Sarita.
But the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) has now said: "Updated information from the French Regulatory Authority (AFSSAPS) suggests that it is possible that PIP silicone gel breast implants manufactured prior to 2001 may also have contained the unapproved non-medical grade silicone,"
"The IMB has advised the implanting clinics of this development [yesterday] and requested that they identify and contact any women who may have been implanted with PIP silicone gel implants before 1 January 2001.
"Whilst the number of Irish women involved is unknown at this time, current information suggests a small number of patients could be affected.
"To ascertain this information, the IMB is awaiting feedback from the clinics that are known to have used the PIP silicone implants. IMB compliance staff are currently conducting a detailed examination of the records of the UK distributor."
PIP gained approval to market its silicone implants in 1997 but it is unknown when the substandard silicone started being used. Concerns only emerged in 2010 when the company shut down.
The IMB's official advice has been for women to get in touch with their implanting surgeons.
"The IMB advises any women with these implants who have any concerns about their breasts or implants to seek clinical advice from their surgeon or their GP."