Pregnant women cannot remove leaking breast implants

Pregnant women are living with the nightmare of being unable to remove their ruptured breast implants, which are leaking industrial grade silicone, until their babies are born.

At least three pregnant women with ruptured breast implants are being monitored by maternity services here. They are highly stressed about the effect the leaking implants may have on them or their child.

More than 70,000 women in Ireland, Britain, and France are estimated to have the implants created by the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) company, which was shut down last year after an inspection discovered it was using non-medical silicone filler in the product.

Its head was arrested and the French government sparked a global scare by advising 30,000 women to have substandard PIP implants removed following health officials’ warnings that they were more likely to rupture than other implants.

Spokesperson for the Irish PIP Action Group, Lisa Fair, which represents an estimated 1,500 women here, said pregnant women with the implants were going through a nightmare ordeal.

“Women with the implants who are pregnant are worried sick,” she said.

“When you get told you have industrial grade silicone in your body, it is very worrying when you are carrying your baby. I can’t even begin to imagine the stress they are under.

“I have spoken to about 10 pregnant women with the implants — two or three of them with ruptured implants. At the moment they are just being monitored by the maternity services as they can’t have the ruptured implants removed while they are pregnant.”

Mum-of-one Ms Fair is one of the 1,500 Irish women who were fitted with the implants. She is one of five women leading the PIP Action Group, which is inviting all women affected to an information day in Dublin on Saturday.

In Britain, the NHS has offered to remove the PIP implants free of charge, but the HSE has not offered the same service to Irish women.

The Dublin mother said they are to meet with representative of the Irish Medicines Board, along with the Chief Medical Officer, this week to express their concerns.

“We are asking for a care package from the clinics for the women with these PIP implants,” said Ms Fair.

She said that the women affected by the implant scandal feel they have been left out in the cold by the State.

“If I was a smoker and I needed help I would get it, or if I was a drinker and I developed cancer I would be given medical treatment,” said Ms Fair. “We aren’t in this position because of a lifestyle choice. We are not in this position because of the surgery but because of the product.

“What is happening to us is not happening because we are vain or stupid. We decided to have surgery and it went wrong because of the product.”

PIP Information Day will be held at Red Cow Inn on Saturday from 1pm to 3pm.


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