What to do if you received PIP implants in the private sector

All women who have received a PIP implant from the private sector such as a private surgeon, clinic, or surgery provider are urged by the Department of Health to seek a consultation with their GP.

Your GP will probably advise you to contact the original provider.  Women should be able contact the surgical team who carried out the original implant; it is the original provider’s duty to give a patient clinical advice on the best way forward.

To obtain a copy of your medical records, please write to your originating clinic.  On receipt of a signed written request the clinic will arrange to send you a copy of your medical records. You may be asked to be patient as some large surgery providers have been inundated with requests to access thousands of patient medical records. Your records will indicate your date and time of surgery including confirmation that PIP implants were used.

In accordance with The Data Protection Act 1998, which prohibits the retention of personal data for longer than is necessary, some clinics destroy patient records after a period of 8 years, meaning that there is the potential that records no longer exist.

If your original surgery took place over eight years ago, but your private surgical provider cannot find your records you are advised to consult with your GP who may be able to trace any information through your medical records, but if this is not successful your GP should advise on the best course of action in your individual circumstances.

Most private cosmetic surgery providers are now offering free consultation and removal for women who received PIP implants as former clients from 2001 – but most large commercial surgical providers, such as The Harley Medical Group, Transform and The Hospital Group, will not give free replacement implants to women. If you want replacement breast implants as a private cosmetic surgery patient, you will be asked to pay for them as part of a surgical procedure.

Essentially, large commercial private surgical providers have agreed to match the NHS offer made by Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, which was to agree to allow access to women who wanted their PIP implant removal operations performed for free on the NHS. However, Mr Lansley refused to extend that to cover free replacements, unless women received PIPs on the NHS.

Patients who have had their breast augmentation with PIP implants in the private sector and have no symptoms

You should contact your private provider and ask for a consultation. The government and all the surgical associations expect the private providers who used PIP implants to take the responsibility of duty of care towards their patients seriously and treat them with dignity and compassion.

The Department of Health has issued guidelines to GPs stating that patients should not be referred for scanning (USS/MRI) before receiving a specialist surgical opinion.

The Department of Health guidelines state that; for matters relating to patients without signs or symptoms of rupture, scanning should only be used to assist decision-making where the patient is uncertain of whether to have the implant removed or where rupture is identified. For all patients who have already decided to undergo removal of PIP implants scanning is unnecessary.