Up to 1,500 women in Ireland are believed to be at risk after they were given breast implants made by a French company which is at the center of a health scare.
French health officials have warned that up to 30,000 women around the world may need to remove implants produced by Poly implant Prothese (PIP) company. More than 2,000 complaints by women with PIP have been reported since March 2010.
"It's not just France that's concerned. We're looking at 300,000 to 400,000 potential victims in the world," said Alexandra Blachere, the leader of a French PIP implant patient group.
The company has been accused of using industrial silicone which can become lumpy and granular, thus increasing the risk of the implant tearing, causing the gel to leak into the patient’s body.
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A study is due out today to determine whether the silicone they are made from could be the cause of serious health risks.
A recall of the implants was launched on March 30, 2011. The company went into liquidation soon after surgeons reported abnormally high rupture rates.
An investigation is already underway into the death of one patient in 2010, which may have been linked to the implant.
The Irish medicine board has advised all patients with concerns to contact their implanting surgeon for advice.