Many Australian women with PIP breast implants have suffered health problems over various periods of time, writes lawyer Tim White.
With the physical concerns often come the psychological battles, especially as they try to come to terms with the knowledge that silicone may be, or already is, leaking into their bodies.
Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers has been contacted by more than 1200* women from across the country who have expressed interest in pursuing compensation. They have spoken of their anger, confusion and disbelief that their health has been jeopardised like this, and the lack of support given. Why are other countries taking steps to assist women with removing the implants, but affected Australians are on their own?
A number of women who have discovered implant ruptures, and those who consider PIP implants to be a health risk, have already had them removed. Others are exploring surgery options. For some, this comes only two to three years after having the implants put in. Those without a high level of private health insurance can expect to pay up to $10,000 for explant surgery, on top of the initial thousands of dollars already spent. It’s an extremely costly process, and for many spending this sort of money is unrealistic and often not possible.
Tindall Gask Bentley is in the process of gathering as much information from as many affected women as possible, consulting plastic surgeons and other medical experts, and liaising with French and UK firms who are leading the action in Europe. Toxicology testing of the implants will also begin soon.
An estimated 6000 Australians have PIP breast implants, but many may not even know it. Women who suspect that their implant brand is PIP should consult their surgeon as soon as possible.
Any complications or concerns with PIP breast implants should be reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) here.
NOTE 27/3/13: Tindall Gask Bentley is no longer investigating a class action against the distributor of PIP implants in Australia. Read more.
*As at 20/12/12