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What to do about old breast implants

(12 Posts)
LBDD Mon 18-May-15 12:42:51

Last week I attended my hospitals breast clinic as I had asked my GP to refer me to discuss getting my breast implants removed. They are about 20 years old and possibly PIP implants thought he clinic has gone and I've no way of checking. At the clinic theylooked at and felt my breasts then sent me for a mammogram even though this is the least effective way of checking if implants are intact.
After the mammogram, which was extremely uncomfortable, I was told that they recommend I leave the implants as they look fine and come back when I have a problem. I explained that I am concerned that they may well be PIP implants and I would rather they were just removed. I can't afford to have them removed privately, my circumstances have changed in the last 20 yrs and I don't have any savings. It's not an option though until they have actually burst.
Now I don't really know what to do next. Should I just leave them until I notice silicon migrating around my body or go back to my GP again. On top of this I feel like I've done 10 rounds with Tyson, mammograms with implants are not fun at all. I wish I'd known all this 20 yrs ago.

LBDD Tue 19-May-15 22:21:20


CountingThePennies Tue 19-May-15 22:23:57

I ve never been in this situation but i always thought implants had to be changed every 10 years.

LBDD Wed 20-May-15 07:18:16

Well yes Counting, that's why I was surprised when the breast clinic told me to leave them alone and that sometimes they see women with much older implants than mine that are fine. I guess that unless I take out a loan and get them removed privately then I'm stuck with them till they are actually affecting my health. Just seems a bit mad to me not to prevent this happening and there's no way I can afford a loan for the foreseeable future. It's like having a ticking time bomb in my body, I wish I'd had stuff like this explained to me before I had them done but it was all too easy, pay your money and that's it.

Petallic Wed 20-May-15 07:26:12

What makes you think they are PIP? My implants are 17 years old and I've not noticed any issues so I don't think they automatically have to be replaced every 10 years. I was lucky in being able to trace my surgeon easily when the PIP stuff came out - she confirmed I didn't have them & they weren't widely used in the UK. Can you trace your surgeon through the GMC if your clinic has closed and hopefully you don't have the PiP ones either

confused79 Wed 20-May-15 07:31:17

My aunt has still got hers in that she had done about 17 years back like you. Hers aren't PIP. Check with your surgeon.

BadgersArse Wed 20-May-15 07:32:52

this is why I would never bother.

I never knew they had to be replaced

RightSideOfWrong Wed 20-May-15 07:40:38

It's advisable to replace them every ten years for optimum appearance. Some of the newer implants don't require that.

The NHS has no obligation to remove your implants unless they are leaking or causing a serious issue. This was legally tested she the PIN scandal first broke, and a lot of people with PIP implants couldn't afford to have them taken out.

If you can't afford to have them privately removed, you'll need to keep an eye on them and go back to the NHS if they do start to leak. The only alternative is to pay privately through a loan or save.

I suppose at least you are getting some aftercare on the NHS, even if it's not your preferred course of action. I hope you don't have any issues with them.

Fatstacks Wed 20-May-15 08:51:15

I had a PIP implant removed by the private surgeon who did the procedure 18 years ago.

I had a mastectomy/reconstruction (I only paid for the reconstruction part the NHS paid for the removal) on one breast and the implant used was PIP.

The surgeon contacted me to advise replacement as a precaution, at no cost to me.

I'm a bit disappointed really, my old implant was luckily perfect with no issues it looked exactly the same as when it went in, my new modern one has a much thicker ridge at the back of the teardrop and because I've gained weight the new implant is bigger and heavier.

I now have a bloody corner on that tit hmm

Apart from the obvious scare on certain dated implants I wouldn't worry.
Now I've actually seen the old one out it's astonishing how unchanged it is.

If only the rest of me had stayed the same grin

Superworm Wed 20-May-15 08:56:51

When you choose have cosmetic implants part of the process is knowing they will need replacing in 10 years, so budget for it. There plenty of time.

LBDD Wed 20-May-15 09:19:47

When I had my implants it was a spur of the moment decision and I picked an ad out of the back of cosmopolitan. Chose it on the Friday and had them done within a week. Due to various reasons I'd rather not go into I was not in a good place mentally and it just seemed like a good idea so I did it. Not clever I know but hindsight is an amazing thing, at the time i couldn't imagine making it to my forties so just didn't think about consequences. There was no talking involved it was just sign here, pay your money and job done.
I have no idea who my surgeon was and frankly feel truly blessed I have had no issues with them. I was concerned they might be pip implants just because they were done at around the right time. When I spoke to my GP she suggested that it was sensible to look at things now rather than wait till there was a problem as that would be harder to fix long term.
Thank you for your comments everyone, I will leave them be and be grateful that I haven't had problems. I know it's potentially a problem of my own making but lets face it there are many. It's reassuring to know others have implants of similar age and still ok, it's not something people really talk about in rl.

MatildaTheCat Wed 20-May-15 09:29:14

OP, as far as I know there is a legal requirement to store medical record for 25(?) years so although the clinic has gone, the records must be somewhere. Do you, or your GP have any documentation at all that might help you track either the clinic owners or surgeon down?

Having said that the advice above seems sound. You really might be better off leaving well alone. Your GP was probably trying to be reassuring rather than concerned.

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