Dutch call for examination of breast implants done before 2001

PHOTO: Dutch call for examination of breast implants done before 2001

THE HAGUE - Dutch health authorities on Thursday recommended new tests for women with breast implants manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prothese that were done before 2001.

"Women who had a PIP breast implant before 2001 should have themselves examined by a doctor, and in consultation, possibly have the implants removed," the Dutch government's health watchdog said in a statement.

The Dutch Health Inspectorate (IGZ) call followed a probe by Dutch investigative TV programme Zembla, which discovered that "several hundred" women received PIP implants since 1997, public broadcaster NOS reported.

"Until now, the IGZ believed that only Dutch women who received the implants from 2001 onwards were at risk," the IGZ added.

The company, which shut in 2010, also said previously that only PIP implants used after 2001 had been made with a substandard, industrial-grade silicone gel that had caused an increased risk of rupture.

Dutch health authorities on January 11 recommended the removal of PIP implants done after 2001, which affects around 1,000 women in the Netherlands.

The country's health insurance federation said the same month that women wanting to replace the potentially defective implants would be paid back in full.

Initially, the Dutch health authority recommended only that women with PIP implants - sold in the Netherlands under the name "M-Implants" - should see their doctors, but changed its stance after confusion over the issue.

PIP implants have been banned in the Netherlands since early 2010.

More than 400,000 women around the world are thought to have received PIP implants which has sparked a global health scare.