Many of you will be very aware of the current scare around these breast implants – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2081089/PIP-breast-implants-Government-adviser-says-50k-women-SHOULD-removed.html. In pure health terms, however, there is no reason to be urgently seeking their removal. If you have concerns about the shape of your breasts, hardness, abnormal lumps (either in the breast or armpits) or pain then you should consult either your own surgeon or any reputable Plastic Surgeon (a good source of these is the BAAPS website: http://www.baaps.org.uk/component/surgeon/search/120/init1)
I am however very concerned about the long-term safety of these implants and urge anyone who believes they have had PIP implants to check the documentation supplied to them at the time of their original operation – whether for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes. If you cannot track down your own record of your operation then either get hold of your operating surgeon and/or clinic so that they can reassure you that PIP implants were not used on you. We did use some PIP implants at St Georges Hospital in the early 2000’s but my reading of the current situation would suggest that the dodgy shells and inferior quality silicone only came into use after 2005.
If you have PIP implants in place then it depends on the current situation with your breasts. If the implants are apparently trouble-free then a consultation and perhaps scan may be all that is necessary until it becomes apparent how the removal (and perhaps replacement with a reliable product) of these implants will be funded – by the NHS or by a class action. If, however, you are having problems with your implants then a choice between paying for their immediate removal or waiting as above is one you need to make.
I have never used any PIP implants in my private practice.