Update: France Will Pay to Remove 30,000 Breast Implants
Makenzie on 23 Dec 2011 at 3:00pm
In an unprecedented move, the French government has offered to pay for the removal of 30,000 potentially toxic breast implants.
As we previously reported, a now-defunct French company called Poly Implant Prosthesis (PIP) was found to have filled the implants with industrial grade silicone instead of medical grade. Apparently the external capsule is also poorly made, making them more prone to rupture.
According to ABC News, "[French Health Minister Xaviar] Bertrand insisted the removals would be "preventive" and not urgent, and French health authorities said they had found nothing to link the implants to nine cases of cancer in women. The death last month of a woman who had the implants and developed a rare cancer had catalyzed worries."
The procedures could cost the French health care system up to 60 million euro, or $78 million. They are not paying for replacement implants, however, unless the originals were part of a post-mastectomy reconstruction.
The ABC story was the first mention we've come across that the 30,000 number is only for France. Apparently up to 40,000 women in the UK may have the implants, and 25,000 in Brazil.
"While we respect the French government's decision, no other country is taking similar steps because we currently have no evidence to support it," said Britain's chief medical officer, Sally Davies. She added that women "should not be unduly worried."