Former Miss Great Britain speaks out over PIP implants

21/05/12

Gemma Garrett

Model Gemma Garrett has called for more information about the risks of cosmetic surgery after her PIP implants ruptured.

The former Miss Great Britain had her breast implants removed last year and pieces of silicone tweezed from her body.

About 50,000 British women have had PIP implants, which were banned in 2010 for containing industrial grade silicone.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said there was no increased health risk.

PIP breast implant
Image caption About 50,000 women in Britain have had PIP implants

Women who are concerned can now get their implants removed and replaced on the NHS.

Newsbeat spoke to Gemma after she made a documentary for BBC Three.

Why was it important for you to make this documentary?

"I'd had my implants removed and it was a very traumatic year for me.

"When they asked me to do this documentary I was nervous and anxious but I wanted to do it because at the end of day there were still 50,000 British women out there left stranded with no answers."

Why did you have implants?

"I think it's just so easy to have it done and I think I got caught up in that.

There needs to be more communication with the surgeons, the clinics and with the patients
Gemma Garrett
Model

"I obviously didn't research enough. I didn't even know all the risks. I didn't realise that by signing up for breast implants you're really signing up for an operation every 10 years.

"I was 26 years old when I had my implants put in and I thought I was a woman and I had all the answers - and it was still the wrong decision for me.

"I would just say to anyone out there to be armed with all the facts, gather all your information and research your surgeon very, very well."

What can be done to stop this happening again?

"There needs to be more communication with the surgeons, the clinics and with the patients.

"I think the government needs to look into that more because there was just no communication whatsoever."

Gemma Garrett
Image caption Gemma Garrett won Miss Great Britain in 2008

Why do women continue to choose to have implants even after knowing the risks?

"Women are undeterred by the risk. Even with the PIP scandal - how big it was - people are still thinking they're worth the risk and I just can't fathom that."

"In my personal opinion, images in magazines and in the media are very unrealistic.

"These are people who are handpicked to model these clothes because they look so different from the average woman. I don't think this is hammered home enough to young girls."