Scottish Government
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PiP breast implants

The wellbeing of women who have had PiP breast implants is the main priority, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

The UK's expert group has concluded that there is no evidence to support routine removal of the implants and that there is no link to cancer. However, it has also advised that women with PiP implants should consult with their surgeon, hospital or clinic.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have confirmed that their advice not recommend routine removal of PiP implants remains at present. However, the NHS will support removal of NHS PiP implants if, after clinical assessment, a woman with her doctor decide that it is right to do so. The NHS will replace the implants if the original operation was done by the NHS.

An advice line is available for Scottish women who have concerns or would like more advice about their implants. They can contact NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 or visit their website www.nhsinform.co.uk. The opening times are 8am - 10pm, seven days a week.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:

"We have been given expert advice that there is no evidence for routine removal of PiP breast implants although more evidence is needed and is being gathered. However, I completely understand the concerns women who have had PiP implants will have and the anxiety they will be experiencing. That is why it is right that the NHS offers advice and support where appropriate.

"We have no records of PiP implants being used by the NHS in Scotland. However, Boards are continuing to check their records and if a woman does have a PiP implant fitted by the NHS they will be contacted, offered a consultation and, if clinically necessary, offered removal and replacement.

"I expect private surgery providers to take responsibility for their patients and offer the same service. Where a private provider is no longer in operation or does not offer appropriate care, the NHS will support removal of implants where that is the clinically appropriate course of action.

"Patient safety is the top priority and I would continue to encourage any woman who is worried to contact their surgeon or healthcare provider for advice. NHS Inform will also be able to answer any questions and provide advice.

"Anyone who is unable to contact their private clinic and is looking for advice please contact NHS Inform or your GP."

If women cannot contact their private surgeon for whatever reason and are concerned about their implants they should, in the first instance, contact their GP to discuss options for referral to a specialist for a clinical review. If it is agreed that the most appropriate outcome would be removal of the implant, NHSScotland will carry out the procedure but would not routinely replace the implant with an alternative unless there is a clinical reason to do so.

Those with NHS implants can find out the make of implant by contacting the hospital where the surgery took place.

Using MHRA figures, it is estimated that around 4,000 PIP implants have been used in Scotland. The vast majority of, if not all of these, were used by the private sector.

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