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Concern over French breast implants in NZ

Published: 6:48PM Friday April 27, 2012 Source: Newstalk ZB

A number of New Zealand women may have faulty breast implants sold by a French manufacturer, which is causing concern both here and overseas.

The implant known as Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) implants filled with dangerous, non-approved and industrial grade silicone.

President of the New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons, Howard Klein says they are now been banned in France, and it is likely only a small number have been used in New Zealand.

He says if women with implants have concerns, they should contact their doctor.

"They should see the original surgeon if possible. If not possible to see the original surgeon because they've retired or moved or no longer in business, then they should see a plastic surgeon near to them."

He says it is thought only about 12 women here will have the implants.

"We think a small number of PIP implants here in New Zealand. There were quite a few implanted in Australia so there'll be some of those people here, some people would have gotten their implants overseas."

Implants made by PIP, who are now bankrupt, were ordered off the market in March 2010 after an investigation found many contained gel approved for use in products from computers to cookware, but not medical devices.

French authorities then sparked a global panic late last year by saying the implants should be surgically removed due to an unusually high rupture rate.