Implant scandal sentence slated

Community News

Community News

A Douglas consultant plastic surgeon has condemned the four year jail sentence handed to the founder of French company PIP, which distributed defective breast implants.

Jean-Claude Mas was found guilty of fraud and was also fined 75,000 euros (£63,000) by a court in Marseille last week.

But Mr Mas, who had denied using substandard silicone at the trial, will remain at liberty until a French court hears an appeal lodged by his lawyer.

Kevin Hancock, who consults and operates at Noble’s Hospital’s Private Patients Unit, said: ‘As an experienced consultant with both a NHS and private practice I have witnessed the effects of the PIP scandal and it’s hard to see how this sentence adequately makes up for the harm and distress it has caused many women and continues to do so.

‘Thousands are still left with no support from their original providers and many may still unknowingly have these implants inside of them.

‘It really was a disgrace that this scandal was able to happen and we can only hope that tighter regulation and the implementation of new changes will prevent it from happening again.’

PIP’s sale of faulty implants caused a global health scare which affected about 300,000 women in 65 countries.

It includes 42,000 British women.

Private clinics fitted 95 per cent of the implants, mostly for breast reconstruction following cancer.

The remainder were performed by the NHS.

Europe was a major market, but more than half went to South America

The company was found to have used sub-standard silicone gel – rather than medical-grade silicone – with the result that many implants ruptured.

The trial was considered to be one of the biggest in French legal history, with more than 5,000 women registered as plaintiffs in the case.

It saw four other former PIP executives convicted and given lesser sentences.

A UK report into the PIP implant scandal concluded the gel material was not toxic or carcinogenic, and did not cause a long-term threat to human health.

But it highlighted anxiety about the implants was itself a health concern and women should be able to have them removed if they wanted to.

Mr Hancock, a council member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), is offering free advice to patients concerned about their implants who can contact his practice via his website www.kevinhancockcosmeticsurgery.com




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