New alert on implants used by 1,500 women here
EXPERTS have issued new warnings about the breast implants that are at the centre of a cancer scare in France after it emerged that they contain toxic chemicals.
Despite renewed advice to undergo surgical removal, the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) told the Herald that there were currently "no calls for concern".
Around 1,500 Irish women have the controversial implants, manufactured by Poly Implant Prosthesis (PIP).
These implants became the subject of concern last month after experts in France noted that eight of the 30,000 women with PIP implants were diagnosed with a rare type of cancer.
These implants are made of substandard silicone and there have also been concerns that they may be more likely to leak.
New research disclosed by Paris radio station RTL, which commissioned chemists to analyse the implants, has shown that the defective breast implants contained harmful chemicals, including a fuel additive and substances used in rubber tubing. This comes as the French medical regulator AFFSAPS reported that 1,140 women in France with PIP implants had suffered ruptures.
Of these, more than 500 had "inflammatory reactions", which could make surgical removal more difficult. While the French government has recommended removal of the implants at the expense of the state, the IMB's official advice has been for women to get in touch with their implanting surgeons.
In Ireland, PIP implants were only used for aesthetic purposes in three private practices -- the Shandon Street Hospital, in Cork, the Clane Hospital, in Co Kildare and Harley Medical Clinic, in Dublin.
PIP implants were recalled in Ireland from March 30, 2010, and have not been used since.
When contacted yesterday, the IMB told the Herald that it had no update to make on its last recommendation concerning the implants as there were currently "no calls for concern".
"The IMB note, in particular, the findings of the French expert committee confirming that to date there is no evidence of increased risk of cancer for women with the PIP brand of breast implants compared to women with other breast implants," the IMB's last statement on the matter, dated December 23, reads.
"The IMB notes the preventative and non urgent recommendation made by the French Ministry for French women with these implants to discuss/ consider explanation with their implanting surgeon.
"The advice of the IMB remains unchanged and it reassures women that there is no current evidence of health risks associated with PIP implants.
"The IMB continues to advise women with these implants that if they have any concerns about their breasts or implants they should seek clinical advice from their implanting surgeon."
Meanwhile, Cosmedico, a busy cosmetic surgery in Dublin, confirmed that patients were now "very aware of the risks associated with Pip implants" and had shown "increased vigilance".
"Cosmedico have never used these particular implants, but every other call we have received in the past couple of weeks have been about them," Cosmedico MD, Ailish Kelly said.
"We are not sure how this will impact the industry yet but it certainly highlights the need for greater regulation within the industry."
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