Independent report

Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) breast implants: final report

This publication was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The final report of the expert group chaired by Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director.

Documents

Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) Breast Implants: Final Report of the Expert Group

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Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) Breast Implants: Final Report of the Expert Group - Volume 2 appendices

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Detail

The expert group studied information on 240,000 implants of different makes used throughout England, which have been given to 130,000 women, along with detailed findings from 5,600 removal operations.

The expert group has found that:

  • exhaustive worldwide testing of the PIP gel material has not revealed anything that could cause a long-term threat to human health - they are not toxic and not carcinogenic.

  • PIP implants do have a higher rupture rate - around 2 times higher. The rate of rupture appears to be around 6 to 12% after 5 years, rising to 15 to 30% after 10 years (this compares to 10 to 14% after 10 years for other brands of implants).

  • PIP implants have a higher concentration of certain compounds called siloxanes - chemically similar to silicone but of a lower molecular weight and found in many consumer products, including hair and skin care products, antiperspirants and deodorants - but this does not present a health risk.

  • although the contents are not harmful and the gel has not been shown to contain any toxic substances, the inferior mechanical strength of the implants led the group to consider this a substandard product.

  • if the implant does rupture, it has been found to cause local reactions around the implant area in a small proportion of women, which can result in symptoms such as tenderness or swollen lymph glands. There is no evidence that this causes any more significant general health concern however.

The expert group has said that the advice to women who have PIP implants remains unchanged. It is expected that all providers of PIP implants will contact their patients. If women are unsure of the make of their implant they should contact their surgeon or provider.