Belgium warns women over breast implant risk
Belgian health authorities on Friday encouraged women with breast implants made by French firm PIP to have them removed if they suspect any ruptures after a similar warning in France.
The Drugs and Health Products Agency told women to get a medical examination and X-rays, a day after France's health ministry advised 30,000 women to have the implants removed, citing "well-established risks of ruptures."
Women should discuss with their surgeons the possibility of a preventive removal "even without clinical signs of deterioration," the Belgian agency said in a statement.
"Any rupture, suspicion of a rupture or leakage from an implant should lead to its removal," the agency said, adding that both implants should be taken out in such cases.
Although eight cancer cases were detected in women who had PIP implants, the French health ministry said they did not pose a higher cancer risk than implants manufactured by other firms.
The now-bankrupt Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) was shut down and its products banned last year after it was revealed to have been using non-authorised silicone gel that caused abnormally high rupture rates in its implants.
Facing financial difficulties, the company, once the world's third-largest producer of silicone implants, replaced the medical-grade silicone in its implants with industrial-strength material.
© 2011 AFP