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MHRA advises against PIP implant removal

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The UK’s medical devices regulator says there is no evidence to support routine removal of PIP breast implants following the health scare that emerged in France earlier this week.

Implants made by French firm Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) were found to contain a non-medical grade silicone filler, prompting fears of an increased risk of cancer.

The French government has recommended that 30,000 women have their faulty breast implants removed as a precautionary measure, citing a well-established risk of ruptures, but said there was no evidence of a cancer link.

It is thought around 40,000 British women have the implants. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, however, said it was not recommending routine removal of PIP silicone gel breast implants in the UK.

In a statement it said: “We recognise the concern that some women who have these implants may be feeling but we currently have no evidence of any increase in incidents of cancer associated with these implants and no evidence of any disproportionate rupture rates other than in France.

“We therefore do not believe that the associated risks of surgery from breast implant removal can be justified without further evidence.”

The MHRA said it would continue liaising with the French medicines and medical devices regulator and was awaiting the evidence to support the decision made in France, which it said would be evaluated as a “matter of priority”.

“In the meantime we would recommend that all patients who have questions about their PIP breast implants should seek advice from their implanting surgeon,” the regulator said.

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