Intended for healthcare professionals


Hundreds of thousands of pounds of NHS funds have been spent on care of private patients with PIP implants

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 20 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1259
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Almost 3000 women who had breast augmentation surgery done privately with implants made by the discredited French manufacturer Poly Implant Prosthèse (PIP) have been seen by the NHS, more than a third have been investigated, and a small group of women have already had the implants removed, figures from the Department of Health for England show.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons estimates that the NHS has already spent hundreds of thousands of pounds seeing and treating private patients who had come forward, who represent only a small proportion of the number of women who have received these implants privately. The association has accused private clinics of failing in their “moral obligation” and “ethical duty” to treat patients.

The health department figures show that 2860 women who had their implant surgery done privately have been referred to NHS specialists by their GPs. More than 1100 of these women have undergone scans, 67 women have decided to have their PIP implants removed, and 12 of these procedures have been carried out so far.

But these figures could escalate substantially because only …

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