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UK govt: No health risk from faulty breast implant

Associated Press Modified: June 18, 2012 at 6:00 am •  Published: June 18, 2012

LONDON (AP) — A top British medical expert says faulty French-made breast implants do not pose any long-term health problems to women even if they rupture.

The implants made by the now-defunct French company Poly Implant Prothese were pulled from the market last year in several countries amid fears they could rupture and leak silicone into the body.

Around 47,000 British women are believed to have been given the PIP implants, which were filled with industrial, rather than medical-grade, silicon. The government asked Bruce Keogh, medical director of Britain's National Health Service, to launch an investigation last December to assess what threat, if any, the implants posed to the woman's health.

Keogh studied the 240,000 implants of differing brands that have been given to 130,000 women in England and looked at data from other countries including France and Australia. On Monday, he said that studies showed the PIP implants were more likely to rupture than other brands, but do not pose a long-term risk to the health of the women who have them.

He said repeated tests in several countries showed that the implants are not toxic.

"Therefore we do not believe they are a threat to the long-term health of women who have PIP implants," he said. "We have, however, found that these implants are substandard when compared to other implants and that they are more likely to rupture."

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