Skip to main content

Preventative removal of defective implants "not unreasonable" move

UK surgeons agree with French Regulatory Agency and clinics have moral obligation to help

London – 23 December, 2011 – Despite the UK’s Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) stance that there is no need for preventative explantation (removal) of defective French PIP breast implants in this country, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ( deems the French initiative 'not unreasonable'. The BAAPS also believes that clinics that used these implants have a duty of care to help their patients.

According to consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS President Nigel Mercer;

“The reality is that the industrial-grade silicone gel used in these implants was not meant for the human body. In some instances women who have no rupture of the devices will be happy to be monitored regularly, but others may wish for the PIPs to be removed, regardless of symptoms. The French Government’s stance is certainly not unreasonable.”

According to consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Fazel Fatah;

“The main reason for explantation in France is not any new scientific evidence linking these implants to cancer – none has been proven despite exhaustive testing. It is the nature of the irritant gel within them, which makes removal post-rupture a more complex and extensive surgery. Therefore some patients will prefer them removed as a preventative measure and this is an entirely rational approach in view of the quality issues associated with PIPs.”

Fazel Fatah concludes;

"If women are concerned or experience adverse symptoms they should see their surgeon, to discuss options such as having a scan to determine whether there is any weakening or rupture. If there is, we reiterate our previous recommendations: to have both implants removed. We believe there is a moral and ethical obligation on the clinics who performed these operations in the first place to facilitate the removal of the faulty implants for free or at the bare minimum cost.”


About the BAAPS

The BAAPS (, based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter:   and Facebook:

For all media enquiries, please contact


View other press releases