The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

French silicone breast implant scandal thought not to include SE Asia

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jan• 02•12

The scandal involving French implant company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP)’s use of substandard, industrial silicone for breast implants concerns potentially tens of thousands of women in at least half a dozen European countries. So far, it appears that none of these implants, which reportedly are prone to rupturing, were distributed in Southeast Asia. 

As reported in the New York Times, “French prosecutors have said that Poly Implant Prothèse substituted a cheap, industrial-grade silicone for medical-grade silicone that is the industry standard. The French authorities have said the substandard product causes inflammation to body tissues when implants are compromised. But so far, they have emphasized, there is no evidence linking it to cancer. ‘“In case of rupture, you’d have a dangerous quantity of silicone in your body,’ said Laurent Lantieri, a plastic surgeon at a hospital near Paris… Breast implants, which are essentially small silicone rubber bags filled with a material, typically silicone or a saline solution, are used after breast cancer surgery or simply for cosmetic purposes. 

“More than 1,000 of the estimated 30,000 French women fitted with the devices have experienced ruptures or leakage. Tens of thousands more in other countries have had the company’s devices implanted, because PIP exported 80 percent of its products, many of them to Britain, Spain and Latin America. More than 40,000 British women are estimated to have received the company’s implants. The implants were also used in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela. 

“Prosecutors in Marseille have been investigating the company for possible fraud and reckless endangerment. They say it cut costs over the last decade by using an industrial silicone gel that was not approved for medical use and that cost a fraction of the medical-grade material.” 

Evidence of silicone leaking into other body areas is sobering, and former patients have reported symptoms such as burning breast tissue and globules migrating to the axillae. The French government has offered to pay for their removal, but not their replacement with other implant materials. 

The situation is considered serious enough that Interpol has placed former PIP director Jean Claude Mas Florent, now believed to be in Costa Rica, on its most wanted list

Again, these implants are not believed to have been used in Asia, but any woman who received these implants has been advised by authorities to seek medical advice.

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