DH review concludes breast implants do not need routine removal

PiP breast implants do not need to be routinely removed and evidence suggests there is not a link with cancer, a DH expert review has concluded.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh: 'We support the government’s position that the NHS will support removal of PIP implants if the patient has concerns'
Professor Sir Bruce Keogh: 'We support the government’s position that the NHS will support removal of PIP implants if the patient has concerns'

NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh led a UK-wide review of evidence and data on PiP breast implants.

The group concluded there is ‘not enough evidence to recommend routine explantation of these breast implants’ and that the evidence did not support a link with cancer.

The DH continues to recommend that any women concerned about a PiP implant should speak to her surgeon or GP.

The NHS will fund removal if a patient and NHS clinicians decides the implant should be removed, and the original operation was done by the NHS. The DH said it expected private sector to do the same for their patients.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘We believe that private healthcare providers have a moral duty to offer the same service to their patients that we will offer to NHS patients – free information, consultations, scans and removal if necessary.’

Professor Keogh said: ‘The overriding consideration of the group is the safety and compassionate treatment of women with PiP implants.’

He added: ‘On the basis of the information we have, we do not think it is necessary to recommend the routine removal of these implants. But we understand that some women will be very concerned so we support the government’s position that the NHS will support removal of PIP implants if the patient has concerns and with her doctor she decides that it is right to do so.’

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish government had no records of PiP implants being used by the NHS in Scotland. ‘However, [health boards] are continuing to check their records and if a woman does have a PiP implant fitted by the NHS they will be contacted, offered a consultation and, if clinically necessary, offered removal and replacement,’ she said.

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