Know your Breast Implants – Dr Charles Serrurier

There has been so much said about PIP breast Implants in the media, and it has caused a stir amongst doctors and patients alike. I will give my two cents worth on the whole escapade, but this quick blog is more about secondary issues that I have noticed evolving – that being patients are not aware of what implants they have inserted, or even what size they are.

To start, let me give some local information regarding PIP implants. In South Africa we have been lucky – yes, PIP implants were represented here but not many were used – yes, some were used but the problem is not as extensive as in Europe. The PIP manufacturing facility has been closed for a few years now and this matter has been dealt with within the local fraternity.

That said many patients have been phoning their doctors asking what implants they have had inserted. It is imperative to remember what implant you have had inserted and what size your implants are, there are many reasons for this:

  • You may want to increase your implant size at a later date
  • You may not visit the same surgeon should there be a complication
  • There might be a complication that requires explanation and new implants to be inserted
  • You may leave the country or your surgeon may leave the country

In all the instances above your breast implant information is important, especially as most implant manufacturers offer warranties on their products and you could get the implants replaced for free. In the event of needing to reinsert implants, knowing what size implants you currently have is critical to making the best surgical decisions.

Your plastic surgeon will always have a record of your implants, and you should always be given some form of warranty card including your implant stickers. These stickers show manufacturer, implant type, implant size and in many cases a unique bar-coded serial numbers for unique identification.

It is you responsibility to keep those stickers and records safe – you never know when you might need them?

Sometimes issues like the PIP debacle can bring some good. I hope that this issue brings more patient understanding into their implant choice and the warranties that go along with them.

I hope this helps your thinking?

Dr Charles Serrurier