One in three dodgy PIP breast implants rupture, thereby leaking silicone into women's bodies, a new study has warned. The figure is at least 16 times higher than the rate previously claimed by the plastic surgery industry, according to British surgeons who studied 453 patients.
The findings will put pressure on the Government to enable all 40,000 Brits affected to have their implants removed for free. The French-made brand has been found to leak industrial silicone, originally intended for use in mattresses, into women's bodies.
So far it has said only women who have had their implants inserted by the NHS, about 5 percent, can have their removal paid for by the state, and it expects private firms not to charge for the potentially life-saving procedure.
If a private clinic will not carry out the surgery, the woman can have it done on the NHS, but she will not be given replacement implants if the original op was for cosmetic reasons. Harley Street surgeon Jan Stanek, who helped conduct the study, said the dangerous implants did not just rip, they "fell apart".
"It's not a simple tear which allows silicone to leak outside, but complete disintegration," the Daily Star quoted him as saying. Thierry Binon, the former head of research and development at PIP, has told police he knew the implants were dangerous, but his warnings were ignored by boss Jean Claude Mas.
Claude-Mas, who has been charged with aggravated fraud and manslaughter after a woman died when one of her implants ruptured, has branded the women suing him "money-grabbers".