Published April 12, 2010
Officials in the U.K. have issued an alert to plastic surgeons after it was discovered some breast implants manufactured in France and sold worldwide are twice as likely to explode as standard implants, the Daily Express newspaper reported Monday.
The implants were made with an unapproved silicone gel and could affect 45,000 women worldwide who boast the breasts made in the now-closed French factory.
Dr. Cynara Coomer, Fox News Medical A-Team member and breast surgeon at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, told FoxNews.com that although broken implants are rare, they can potentially be dangerous.
“An exploding breast implant is one that has ruptured, or the lining capsule is essentially broken, and silicone can leak out into the natural breast tissue,” Coomer said. “That can cause a severe infection such as gangrene or toxic shock.”
Coomer said a breast implant capsule is two layers, so in order for an implant to leak, both layers would have to be punctured.
“It is very infrequent that a silicone implant leaks through both layers,” she said. “The most common way it can happen is through a needle biopsy procedure if the needle pokes into the implant.”
The French government banned the sale of the implants made by Poly Implant Prothese, but 90 percent of them have already been shipped to surgeons abroad.
Medical professionals urged women who may have the implants, which U.K. surgeons began using in 2001, to remain calm but to contact their physicians to have them removed.
“Doctors recommend that an implant should be removed even if just one layer of the capsule is broken, to prevent the chance of leaking,” Coomer said.
Saline implants have the same risk of leaking, but the product is considered much safer because it is similar to fluid already found in the body, and can be absorbed by muscle tissue.
“It is the way these implants were manufactured that makes them unsafe,” Coomer said.Click here to read more from the Daily Express.