Growing fears over faulty French breast implants

Czech health institutions say they are getting dozens of concerned calls from women with silicone breast implants who fear they may be at health risk in connection with the scandal surrounding faulty French implants exported to 65 countries worldwide. It has been confirmed that around 2,000 of the risky industrial-grade silicone implants were delivered to Czech clinics between 2007 and 2010 when the scandal surfaced. Some clients are already demanding repeat surgery whether or not their doctors advise it.

Fifty-seven-year old Jana was diagnosed with cancer fourteen years ago. When she had her second breast removed in 2008 she opted for reconstruction surgery, which her health insurance company paid for. Both her implants are from the risky PIP series that contained industrial-grade silicone. Although none of those used in the Czech Republic have so far ruptured Jana says she’s not waiting to see it happen. She wants repeat surgery as soon as possible.

“I am not going to wait for another year or more to see if something bad happens. I have already decided I want another operation.”

VZP –the largest health insurance company in the country says it is prepared to pay for repeat reconstruction surgery which was undertaken for health reasons. It is now putting together a list of women whom this may concern in order to inform them of this possibility. Many clinics have already called in patients at risk for check-ups. However there are no statistics of women who underwent the operation for aesthetic reasons –and they make up the vast majority of those who received the faulty transplants. As more and more women seek information, plastic surgeon Roman Kufa told Czech Television that with industrial grade silicone in their bodies they might have a problem.

“If the implant should rupture and leak then there could be serious complications – an infection of the breast, cysts and we cannot even rule out cancerous growth.”

An official recommendation is likely to be made on Friday following a meeting of prominent plastic surgeons, Health Ministry officials and representatives of the State Institute for Drug Control.