BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A group of 50 Argentine women threatened to sue their plastic surgeons on Tuesday if they don’t get free replacements of faulty French breast implants.
The group is led by attorney Virginia Luna, who herself has the “PIP” silicone gel packs implanted in her breasts. She said five of her clients have obtained out-of-court agreements to provide free replacements, and if the rest don’t get them as well, her group will sue.
The implants made by the now-defunct French company Poly Implant Prothese were banned last year in countries around the world after more than 1,000 women suffered ruptures. In all, 30,000 French women got the implants, and could experience harmful leaks of cheap industrial-grade silicone — not the medical-grade gel that higher-quality implants use.
France’s health system has recommended that any women with the implants get them replaced, and has agreed to pay for surgeries that could total millions of dollars. Not so in Brazil and Argentina, where thousands more of the implants were sold. Health officials in both countries just recommend checkups.
Argentine clinics say they’ll replace leaky implants, but the symptoms aren’t always detectable, and Luna says any woman with the faulty implants can suffer psychological damage.
The replacement surgeries can cost up to $3,500 in Argentina, Luna said.
“In my case, they’re OK. I check periodically, but I am afraid,” she said, recalling that when she had them implanted in 2007, she was told they were the best in the world, and would last her entire life.
How many Argentine women received the PIP implants is unknown, although about 13,500 of them were imported from 2007 to April 2010, when they were banned.
Some plastic surgery clinics have said they would cover the cost of removing them, but not replacing them, Luna complained.
Luna said she wouldn’t rule out suing the government if it doesn’t take action to protect these consumers.
Some legislators also say the Argentine government should cover the costs.
“It would be a good move if the State opens a clinic in one of the city’s public hospitals to attend to women with these implants, analyze each case and later extract them at no cost,” Deputy Daniel Amoroso said in a statement. He said about 28,000 women get breast implants each year in Argentina.
In both Argentina and Brazil, government officials also asked doctors to notify federal agencies of any patient complaints.
It would be premature to have women remove the implants if they’re not having any problems, said the president of Brazil’s Plastic Surgeons Association, Jose Horacio Aboudib.
“I’d remove them from any patient that wants to, but I don’t see the need for everyone to go into surgery,” he said.
Aboudib added that the Brazil surgeons’ association in January will create a national registry of breast implants, where doctors would enter information about the patient, the date of the operation, and the product used, to improve safety and follow-up care.
Associated Press Writer Juliana Barbassa in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.
More Related Stories
- From global warming to fluoride: Why do people deny science?
- How Dan Savage lost it
- Diet soda rots your teeth "like meth and cocaine"
- Will U.S. amphibians become endangered species?
- I don't hate millennials anymore!
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- The secrets of cicada survival
- Nobody "needs" to rape
- Catholic Church in market for more exorcists
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Boy Scouts to members: Just don't be a gay adult
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- My text blew up in my face
- Boy Scouts end ban on openly gay boys
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11