When Sweden’s device authority called for all PIPs to be removed last week their evidence was seized upon by UK plastic surgeons in the form of their specialty body, the British Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) which is now calling for further in vivo analysis to be performed in the UK. The expectation has to be that results will sooner or later drive a decision to remove all PIP implants.
In the wake of Sweden’s announcement, BAAPS was quick to reiterate its own call for similar analysis to take place in the UK as a matter of urgency.
Extracts from a release on the BAAPS website state; The new recommendations from the Swedish Medical Products Agency and the National Board of Health and Welfare are based on a “changed state of knowledge”, resulting from analysis of explanted products rather than off-the-shelf ones. Their document states: “The examination of a number of removed PIP implants with large ruptures shows that the silicone gel within the coating has changed its character”.
According to consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Rajiv Grover; “At the BAAPS we have long been warning that a major loophole in safety regarding these defective implants relates to the lack of ‘in vivo’ testing of PIPs (that is, analysis performed on those that have been removed from the human body). The Swedish findings, which have been undertaken in this manner, show that when inside the body the silicone alters in such a way that doesn’t ‘stick together’ as well, allowing it to disperse more easily.
“It is known that there is a subgroup of PIP implants in which the concentration of an irritant compound (known as D4) is higher than in others, but there is no way of knowing which ones are affected. This is why the Swedish government has made the decision to remove all PIPs as a preventative measure.
“The combination of higher concentrations of D4 and the changes in the silicone which happen when the implant is within the body, finally explain the issues that surgeons and patients have been seeing and experiencing around the country. We urge the Government, who we know have collected in vivo specimens, to perform similar analyses – as a matter of urgency.”