Compensation for defective breast implants

The French Appeal Court in Paris has ruled that the victims of the defective PIP breast implants, should receive compensation for their injuries.

The French Company, Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP), manufactured breast implants between 2001 and 2010. PIP implants are silicone breast implants containing silicone gel. It later emerged that the implants were faulty and were 2 to 6 times more likely to rupture within the breast tissue than implants made by other manufacturers.

Further investigation found that the implants had been filled with unauthorised, cheap silicone, which was not intended for human use. In cases where the implants ruptured, silicone had been leaking into the bodies of the patients.

The founder of PIP was subsequently given a prison sentence and the company was liquidated in 2010.

The Appeal Court has also upheld a previous decision against the German Company, TUV Rheinland, which issued European safety certificates for the PIP implants. The Appeal Court upheld that TUV Rheinland was negligent in issuing these certificates, enabling many patients to receive defective implants.

The implants were withdrawn from use in the UK in 2010, following the revelation that they had been fraudulently manufactured. However, by this time, it has been estimated that up to 400,000 women worldwide had received PIP implants during breast surgery.

540 British women have been involved in the case in France, and have suffered from long-term effects from the silicone leak. It is estimated that 47,000 British patients are still living with PIP implants.


What should I do if I have been fitted with PIP implants?

No research has been found to suggest any serious health risk. But the silicone leak can cause symptoms including pain and tenderness, a burning sensation, redness and a change in the shape or texture of the breast. If you have any of the above symptoms, you should contact your GP.

If you are unsure whether your breast implants were manufactured by PIP, you can ask the clinic or hospital where your surgery was performed. Your GP may also be able to provide you with this information.

If your surgery was performed on the NHS, you should already have received a letter informing you about the risks and advising you on your next steps.

If you are worried that your implants may have ruptured, a specialist will be able to perform an ultrasound scan to confirm any rupture. If the implant has indeed ruptured, the implant should be removed as soon as possible.

If you do not have any signs of rupture, there is no need to remove the implants, unless you wish to do so. However, you should remain vigilant of the signs of rupture and attend a regular check-up to ensure that the implants are still intact.


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For further advice and guidance contact our Medical Negligence team – call 01522 561020 or email

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