I have previously blogged about my concerns with silicone breast implants manufactured by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP). A quick summary: The French company PIP used industrial-grade silicone in breast implants (rather than medical-grade silicone), thereby increasing the risk of rupture and of complications. PIP is not licensed to sell their devices in the USA, so no American women should have been harmed by this flagrant violation of good practices. All of my own patients have received only Mentor (Johnson & Johnson) and Allergan (formally Inamed) devices, so they need not worry.
However, my practice is quite international, and I do see many patients whose implants were not placed in the USA. In particular, many of my patients have had surgery in Mexico, where, unfortunately, PIP has been licensed to sell their products.
Fortunately, this affair seems to have a silver lining. The Mentor Corporation has agreed to discount their (high-quality) replacement implants for any patients with PIP devices--with a $250 American Express Gift Card.
While I have not seen many PIP patients, I did want everyone to know that I am doing everything in my power to help these poor ladies. I will continue to search out opportunities to assist them.
Please pass along this information to any of your friends who may have had breast surgery performed outside of the USA, and who may benefit from this valuable Mentor program.