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When Breast Surgery Goes Wrong

Many people throughout the UK and the world choose to have cosmetic surgery for many different reasons. 

Some would attribute the decision to undergo a complex medical procedure such as a breast augmentation to be an exercise in vanity – while this may be the case for some, cosmetic surgery can give many a boost of self-esteem, and have a positive effect on their physical appearance and emotional well-being.

Because of this, the detrimental effects caused by surgery which has gone wrong can be particularly harmful, not just health-wise but also in relation to the strong emotional toll it can bring, including loss of self-esteem and depression.

Negligently inserted breast implants

A significant medical negligence scandal became prominent news in the UK in 2012 when it was found that a large number of women – estimated at 300,000 worldwide – may have had defective and highly unsafe silicone breast implants put into their bodies during breast augmentation.

The unsafe implants resulted from the use of silicone provided by bankrupt company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP). Supplying a number of private cosmetic surgeries in the UK, PIP admitted that the silicone they provided violated regulations and was not fit for medical purposes, potentially endangering the health of the many women who were unlucky enough to have them.

Essentially, should these silicone implants rupture, burst or leak then they have the ability to cause serious medical problems, such as inflammation and leaking unsafe liquid into lymph nodes.

The number of women who suffered ruptured PIP implants has been relatively low. However, the main issue is that the silicone used is not medical-grade and is certainly not okay for human beings to have in their bodies. This news has led to many medical professionals, including those in the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), recommending that they should be removed so as to protect the health and well-being of women who have them.

Obviously, the health of anyone affected by the faulty breast implants should be their primary concern – however, those affected should consider legal recourse for this vast example of medical negligence.

Medical negligence in cosmetic surgery

The furore over the PIP breast implants has shone a light on the largely unregulated nature of cosmetic surgery in the UK, which failed to properly govern an unscrupulous company which supplied faulty silicone products.

Furthermore it has strong implications for how the cosmetic surgery industry is regulated in Britain and has highlighted critical flaws in the regulatory system.

If you have had cosmetic surgery, you will know that it usually is completed without a hitch. However, if you have ever had any problems – such as suffering adverse health effects from a poorly performed procedure or detrimental issues caused in the long term – you have rights as a consumer and as a UK citizen, and claiming compensation for clinical negligence could be the right thing to do.