PIP breast implants are manufactured by a French company named Poly Implant Prothèse, which was shut down in 2010 due to unacceptably high rates of implant rupture. PIP implants were made at significantly lower cost by using a cheap industrial grade silicone rather than the standard medical grade silicone used in other breast implants. Rupture rates of PIP implants are reported as twice those of other breast implants. Of the 30,000 women in France who have the implants, about 1,000 have had a rupture or leakage of their implant. Unfortunately, approximately 80% of the implants were exported outside France to  the UK, Spain and Latin America (Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela). Although the implants were never sold in the US, it is possible for American women who traveled abroad for breast augmentation to have received them in another country. It has also been reported that silicone breast implants under the brand name “M” implants, distributed by a Dutch company in Germany, and possible other European countries, may also be PIP implants that were rebranded as “M” implants.

Health risks associated with PIP breast implants and those resulting from ruptured implants are undetermined at present. The Ministry of Health in France has recently issued a mandatory removal of  all PIP implants regardless of their condition. Other countries have yet to follow suit on recommending all PIP breast implants to be removed. There are an estimated 400,000 women worldwide who may have PIP breast implants. Breast implant removal may require additional procedures such as capsulectomy, and implant replacement with silicone or saline breast implants or breast lift (mastopexy) may be considered for optimal aesthetic results.

If you have any questions about breast augmentation, please contact our office or call us at 212 452 1400 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Olivia Hutchinson. Dr. Hutchinson is a board certified female plastic surgeon in private practice in NYC and New Jersey, and has over a decade of experience with aesthetic breast surgery including breast augmentation with saline and silicone breast implants, breast implant removal and revision surgery.

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