After the recent health scare involving Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) implants that cost UK taxpayers $3 million, many people are wondering whether demand for cosmetic surgery in the UK will subside. The breast implant scandal raised many concerns about the overall safety and potential risks involved with breast augmentation procedures and other types of implant procedures. Approximately 7,000 women in England were asked to undergo health checks after government officials found that they may have been given faulty breast implants that contained an unauthorized silicone filler. Even though the filler was not thought to be toxic, there were still some safety concerns about the implant itself. Officials found that PIP breast implants have double the rupture rate of other implants and could present a problem now, or in the near future.According to BBC News, approximately 47,000 women in the UK have PIP breast implants. The majority of these implants were inserted during a breast augmentation procedure from private surgeons, instead of through the NHS.
Near the end of 2011, the French government recommended that all women with PIP implants have them removed. Professor Sir Bruce Keogh will be leading the UK review in early 2013 and tells BBC News that, “Many questions have been raised, particularly around the regulation of clinics, whether all practitioners are adequately qualified, how well people are advised when money is changing hands, aggressive marketing techniques, and what protection is available when things go wrong. I am concerned that too many people do not realize how serious cosmetic surgery is and do not consider the lifelong implications it can have.”
Still, demand for breast augmentation surgery continues to stay strong around the globe. Many UK patients also fly overseas to get breast implants by board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States, and most U.S. surgeons use Mentor or Natrelle implants that have very few risks.