A surgeon working for Aurora clinics and involved in the removal and replacement of PIP implants has reported that he is seeing the "true picture of the PIP implants rupture situation" and has described it as "alarming".
Mr Adrian Richards has now removed 10 sets of PIP implants from the women seeking his help. This far he has found:
- 3 out of 10 had rupture PIP implants - This mean that the implants had ruptured completely and the illegal silicone was leaking into the patients' bodies.
- 6 out of the 10 had 'gel bleed' - Although looking intact due to the poor quality of the outer shell of the implant the silicone had diffused through. Reputable implants would be dipped several times in medical grade silicone to create a stronger lining, PIPs were not. The potential problems 'gel bleed' can cause are as dangerous as a rupture. Mr Richard's described that seeing such high numbers as a potentially serious situation.
- Only 1 out of the 10 had no problems at all with completely intact implants and no gel bleed.
Mr Richards has also reported that he is keeping record of the serial numbers of the PIP implants being removed and is noting patterns developing between the dates ladies had their implants, serial numbers and the rupture of gel-bleed rate. He is asking that other surgeons do the same as the information could prove invaluable in terms of rupture rate research.
Sam Robson of Slee Blackwell Solicitors, head of the Cosmetic Surgery Claims team says:
"I would like to say that these figures are unbelievable but quite frankly given the number of women I've spoken to and the number who've reported ruptures and problems I find it completely believable. Some private clinics are relying on figures which show rupture rates of only about 2% to claim that the implants are safe. What these figures from Aurora show is that the problem is far more serious then that. This is only a very small sample but if it is representative of the problem across the population it shows a failure rate of 90%. It also shows that it is misleading for clinics to only talk about ruptures and only offer to treat women who have suffered ruptures when 'gel bleed' is just as dangerous and far more common. This is a potentially very serious situation and it is time that not just the clinics but the GP's who are refusing to refer women for scans and treatment and those limiting treatment on the NHS realize what they are facing."