PIP breast implants: Your stories
- 23 December 2011
- From the section Health
Women with silicone breast implants made by French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) should not have them removed, UK officials say.
French authorities are recommending that women should have PIP implants removed as a precautionary measure.
But the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says none of the evidence into possible links with cancer supports removal.
It is estimated that up to 40,000 British women have the PIP silicone implants.
Women with these implants have contacted the BBC to talk about their experiences. Here, they share their concerns.
Terri-Ann Edmunds, Liverpool
I had my breasts done in 2007 after I had my son, before then I was completely flat.
I had no self-confidence at all. I wouldn't even take my son swimming, I was too ashamed.
I thought about having an operation for years and then in 2007 I took out a bank loan to get the surgery. But now I am in debt as I am not working and can't pay off these faulty implants.
After two years I got shooting pains and burning sensations in my breasts. I am really worried as my GP will not send me for an ultrasound scan because of the expense.
My original surgeon has now retired. The clinic I went to also not give me a ultrasound.
I am really scared these implants are like a ticking time-bomb waiting to explode.
When I had them done I was over the moon - I was like a new person. People were noticing a change in me I was full of confidence and very bubbly.
Now I'm just drained and depressed.
I am very, very angry as I am a single parent and on benefits. I can't afford to have them done again.
The thought of going back to the way I was is tearing me up inside.
Angela Stansfield, Lancashire
I had PIP implants about nine years ago.
I heard the news about PIP implants last year. A friend of mine who also had the PIP implants a few years after me had ruptures in her implants.
I have now decided to have them replaced. I will be seeing a recommended surgeon in January.
I do think I should get some help with the cost but I'm not holding my breath.
Hopefully the implants are still intact. I will not know until I see my surgeon.
When I first got the implants, my consultant said that if all was well they could last for 20 years. But I read that they would last only 10 years.
Also, the surgeon said even if the implants split, the filling will not leak because they consist of a cohesive gel. But this is not the case.
What happens to all these ladies who can't afford surgery again? For me, the price will be double the original cost, but I want peace of mind.
Carolyn Bodineau, Paris, France
I had a mastectomy for breast cancer in 2007 and during the same operation they put in a PIP implant.
It was done by one of France's top surgeons at a well-known and well-respected institute/hospital in Paris where I live. I've had follow-up scans since March 2010 when the news broke.
But since the scans were showing that the implant hadn't ruptured I was happy to follow the health agency's advice to wait before having it removed.
Now that we're hearing discussions about removing the PIP implants, I'm seriously regretting my decision to wait.
It's a horrible situation to be in, whether you've had cancer or not. But particularly if you've had cancer.
Some women have already been through so much, with so many operations and treatments, to add this worry on top is absolutely horrendous.
What is worse is how slow the government is being with finding who was responsible at PIP and putting them in jail.
The big question is why is the government dragging its feet? Is it because it's actually the health agency that has failed to notice the problem in time?
I have an appointment with my surgeon in January and I will be putting myself under the knife once again, thanks to penny-pinching at PIP.
Emma Shelley, Kent
I had these implants in February 2010 - just six weeks before they were recalled. I deliberately went to get them done at a reputable place at a cost of £4,250.
I belong to a PIP implants support group on social media and I know other women who have the implants - we have been completely abandoned by the private surgeons who have used these implants.
They have no protective shell to stop our lymph glands from filling up with silicone.
We have no-one to answer to this, and our only option seems to be to pay for them to be removed, and be left with nothing but empty, damaged breasts, through no fault of our own.