What to do if you received PIP implants on the NHS

All women who have received a PIP implant from the NHS will be contacted in due course to inform them that they have a PIP implant and to provide relevant information and advice. If, in the meantime, NHS patients seek information about the make of their implant then this will be provided free of charge.

Women who wish to will be able to seek a consultation with their GP, or with the surgical team who carried out the original implant, to seek clinical advice on the best way forward.

If the woman chooses, this could include a non-urgent examination by imaging to see if there is any evidence that the implant has ruptured.

The NHS will support removal of PIP implants if, informed by an assessment of clinical need, risk or the impact of unresolved concerns, a woman with her doctor decides that it is right to do so. The NHS will replace the implants if the original operation was done by the NHS.

GP referrals to specialist services

If, on clinical examination, a GP finds symptoms which suggest the possibility of new breast disease, they will refer the patient urgently to a rapid access breast service, even if the original implant was from a private provider. Other referrals should be made to the regional breast reconstructive service or local equivalent (for patients who received implants as part of NHS treatment) or to the original clinic (for implants provided privately) and are unlikely to need fast-track referral.

What NHS choices you have if you had your breast implants in the private sector

If you have been treated in the private sector but can no longer trace your surgeon, the NHS has agreed to treat you. You need to contact your GP first who should then refer you to a local NHS clinic. The GP must give advice to you as part of the directive from the Department of Health.

Not every single PIP implant will need to come out, especially if it hasn’t ruptured, but if you do want to get your implants removed, the NHS has a duty to remove your implants for you.

If you contact your GP and state that you originally received an implant from a private provider, your GP will encourage you to go back to the original provider for advice, scanning if appropriate, and removal or replacement of the implant if desired.

However, if the original provider has gone out of business, or is unwilling to help, your GP should carry out a clinical examination and refer onwards to specialist NHS services as indicated above. At this stage your GP will make it clear that the NHS is not offering to pay for a replacement implant.