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Clinics 'do not have the skills' to treat implant victims

Clinics replacing PIPs refuse to treat rupture problems – sending patients to the NHS

London – 16 February, 2012 – The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ( today expressed their concern that clinics replacing faulty PIP implants claim ‘not to have the skills’ to treat problems stemming from rupture. Patients are instead being sent to the NHS to undergo further surgery separately. The BAAPS asserts that any trained and qualified plastic surgeon would be able to efficiently address the repercussions of rupture, and warns the initiatives could simply be a cost-containment exercise.

According to consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Fazel Fatah;

“One of the side effects from ruptured PIP implants is an inflammatory response in the tissues exposed to the silicone - which is known to be of industrial, rather than medical grade. This can manifest as lumps and bumps in the chest area, under the breast, and enlarged lymph nodes. The lumps that form around the breast – a reaction to free silicone known as granulomas – can vary in size and if large may require to be surgically removed. The lymph glands, which are located in the armpits, act as a filter mechanism and they can become affected and engorged. If greatly enlarged or becoming painful they may require removal after investigation.

Fazel adds;

“Any qualified plastic surgeon can easily address these issues, make the appropriate decisions and manage arrangements for investigation in an effective manner – it is part of standard training. Although it may be ostensibly reassuring that untrained practitioners aren’t just trying to ‘have a go’ at complex procedures, these actions then beg the question: who are the surgeons performing the implant replacements and what training have they undergone? Otherwise, one may be pardoned for assuming that this initiative is purely a cost-containment exercise. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking of.”

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

“I’ve recently seen a number of patients with lumps in their armpits - in one woman's case, the surgeon directly admitted to her not having the skills to remove them. In another instance, the clinic itself told the patient their surgeons weren't competent enough to perform the procedure. Either these clinics' practitioners aren’t qualified plastic surgeons as is generally claimed on their websites, which is clearly alarming, or they don’t want to bear the costs of caring for their own patients. Frankly, neither option should be acceptable to the women affected.”


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:

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