Brazil unsure about recall of breast implants

23rd December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Brazilian health authorities said Friday they had not yet decided whether to advise 25,000 women who obtained breast implants from troubled French firm PIP to have them removed.

France's health ministry earlier recommended that the 30,000 women in the country with the implants have them taken out, saying that while there is no proven cancer risk, they could rupture dangerously.

Tens of thousands of women around the world have the same implants, made from industrial rather than medical quality silicone.

Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) "has not yet made a recommendation," a spokesman told AFP.

Breast implants produced by the now-bankrupt Poly Implant Prothese were banned in Brazil in April 2010 when problems were first reported, but 25,000 implants had already been performed, according to ANVISA. Around 100,000 women get silicone breast implants in Brazil each year.

PIP was shut down and its products banned last year after it was revealed to have been using non-authorized 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.

Documents obtained by AFP showed that tens of thousands of women in more than 65 countries, mainly in South America and western Europe, received implants produced by PIP, which ceased trading last year.

"The medical facts that we know suggest that these implants can rupture earlier and with a greater risk of inflammatory reaction," said Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery president Jose Horacio Aboudib.

Calling the French move "more of a political decision than a medical one," he said his group in Brazil recommended that women who received the implants get tested early to make sure the implants were viable.

Venezuela's union of plastic surgeons agreed, declining to recommend that women with the PIP implants get them removed, recommending preventative checkups instead.

The Health Ministry has not yet provided an official recommendation.

Venezuela's union of plastic surgeons president Marisol Graterol did not indicate how many women had received the implants in Venezuela, but said the country had taken steps since 2010 to ban imports and marketing of the products.

Venezuela, where about 40,000 breast augmentations are performed each year and women regularly go under the knife, has been a regular top contender for Miss Universe.

© 2011 AFP

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