After the information disseminated three weeks ago by the French government in which PIP mammary implants were associated (Poly Implant Prothese) with the development of breast cancer, all women carriers of these prosthesis they have asked the same question, should I go to a surgeon to extract the defective material as a matter of urgency?

Those affected, and the rest of society, require that the competent authorities identify the person responsible or responsible for what happened, since these implants were not only authorized at the time by the European Union, but also obtained the corresponding permission to be marketed in countries like Spain or France, which did not happen in the United States, which rejected the product.

The PIP implants are defective, so patients must go to their surgeon to review them, and evaluate between the two the convenience of removing or replacing them as a preventive measure

But patients with PIP need to know, above all, if it is necessary to remove the implants because, while the Spanish health authorities have advised the review and periodic monitoring of these patients to verify the status of the prosthesis and that, except breakage or other symptoms, extraction is not considered urgent and, in that case, it is up to the patient to make the decision, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), for its part, has supported the recommendation that all PIPs be withdrawn or replaced.

In Spain, the SECPRE (Spanish Society of Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) and the AECEP (Spanish Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery) have issued a joint statement that reflects their position on the matter, and that is summarized in the following statements:

  • Until now it has not been possible to demonstrate that PIP are related to the appearance of cancer, although their rupture can cause complications and, if it is suspected that it has occurred or can occur, immediate extraction of the prosthesis is indicated.
  • As it is proven that the implants are defective, patients must go to their surgeon to review them, and evaluate between the two the convenience of removing or replacing them as a preventive measure.
  • Both companies acquire the commitment to collaborate with the competent health authorities to gather all the information regarding these implants, and to offer their support to those affected.
  • Many patients do not know which surgeon implanted the prosthesis. For this reason, SECPRE is working hard to put its network of surgery professionals at the service of women who need it, and they have also agreed with the implant manufacturers more important that these offer new implants, of good quality and at a good price, to all those that should replace the PIP.

The recommendation of SECPRE and AECEP to all patients is that, in the first place, they should check their type of implant by means of the implantation card that the surgeon who made the intervention should have given them, since it is mandatory. If they do not have it, they should go to the clinic where they operated to request a copy.

If it is a PIP prosthesis, it is essential that your surgeon perform a review, in order to check the status of the implant, and make a decision about whether or not to remove it. In the event that the patient has been operated by a surgeon who is not a member of the SECPRE, this society will recommend, if you wish, a professional who will attend you in a disinterested way.

Even if the examination shows that the prosthesis is in good condition, and the patient does not want to remove it, they advise that periodic controls be carried out every six months.

Sources: SECPRE and AECEP

Breast Implant Health Scare (November 2019).