PARIS - A pair of British plastic surgeons said Tuesday the rupture rate of PIP breast implants behind a global health scare may be as high as one in three, significantly more than previously thought.
A study of 453 of their patients who had received PIP implants between seven and 12 years ago showed a rupture rate of between 15.9 per cent and 33.8 per cent.
"Previous studies have typically reported failure rates of between two per cent and five per cent," said authors MG Berry and Jan Stanek of the study published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.
The new study had employed more conclusive ultrasound scans rather than the physical examinations typically used, they said.
"All PIP implants, due to the high rupture rate and uncertainty about the nature of the silicone gel, may need to be removed," Stanek was quoted as saying in a statement, adding that further research will be done.
More than 400,000 women around the world are believed to have received implants made by French company PIP, which shut in 2010 after it was found to have used substandard, industrial-grade silicone gel.
Of them, about 47,000 were in Britain, 30,000 in France and 4,300 in Italy.