PIP Breast Implants in New Jersey
The French manufacturer PIP produced both saline filled breast implants and silicone filled breast implants since the 1990’s. Their saline implants were trialed in the US as far back as the early 90’s but their silicone gel filled implants WERE NEVER APPROVED for use in the US.
The PIP saline filled implants were different than the other two main implant manufacturers’ saline implants in that the PIP implants were pre filled into the implant shell bag. The problem over time was that this type of saline pre fill process had a higher failure rate over time when compared to the other manufacturers. Therefore the PIP saline implants were not approved and hence are no longer available in the US.
The PIP silicone gel implants were never approved for use in the US. Most women with PIP silicone gel implants received their surgery in France or the UK. However other Latin American locations were known to have obtained PIP implants.
Recently, it was identified that the silicone gel used in the PIP silicone implants exclusively was a type of NON MEDICAL GRADE silicone gel. Again, they were never reviewed, used, or approved for use in the US and are not the same as the medical grade silicone gel used in breast implants in the US!
Additionally, it was found that the PIP silicone implants leaked at a higher rate over time than the typical silicone gel implants in use in the US.
A recommendation was recently made by both the Aesthetic Society and the American Society of Plastic Surgery regarding PIP silicone gel implants and was reiterated by the society president at the Atlanta Breast Surgery Symposium which I attended in January. It was recommended that these implants be empirically removed even if the patient has no symptoms. So, if a patient living in the US, was known to travel outside the US and had a breast augmentation, or post mastectomy breast reconstruction, with PIP silicone filled breast implants, they should consult with a Plastic Surgeon (preferably member of at least one of the two accredited societies mentioned above).
My practice for many years has attracted many women who seek help with breast implant concerns regarding previous surgery done elsewhere by other surgeons. Patients have come to me from across the US, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Asia for treatment of breast implant leakage, implant deflation, implant asymmetry, capsular contracture, implant malposition, etc. My unique approach to these problems will be discussed in upcoming blogs…