French health authorities have advised precautionary surgery to remove the Poly Implant Prothese breast implants. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The Ministry of Health yesterday advised doctors and hospitals against using silicon breast implants made by a French company which reportedly leak and cause cancer.

A senior official said the advice is a precautionary measure since the implants are not available in the UAE as they are not registered with the Ministry. But he said the advice is if they have been imported here "through other means".

The implants made by the now defunct French company have reportedly been known to rupture and have caused agonising problems for women.

Dr Amin Al Amiri, CEO for medical practice and licence, said in a statement such implants were stopped by the Ministry in 2008.

The doctor said the product has not been allowed to enter the UAE nor register with the Ministry of Health. "The UAE is the one of the first countries in the region to take strict procedures against any medical products since 2008, especially silicon implants," he said.

A senior consultant plastic surgeon, Dr Luiz S Toledo, told Gulf News such implants were available in the UAE more than three years ago. "As far as I know, no woman in Dubai has had such an implant done," he said.

Precautionary surgery

Dr Amiri said the French government has advised surgery as a precautionary measure to remove such implants from 300,000 women who have had breast augmentation. He noted, however, that similar products from a certified British company have been registered in the UAE.

Dr Toledo said women should not be alarmed as it has not been proved that such implants can cause cancer. He said it is "alarmist" and alleged that there is a "war" between implant manufacturing companies and lawyers.

The plastic surgeon said studies show that women who have undergone breast augmentation have less incidence of breast cancer. "That's because these women undergo routine checks after the implant," he said. He advised women to undergo routine mammograms every year after an implant. The plastic surgeon said breast augmentation is the most popular procedure in Dubai after nose jobs.

It was earlier reported the recalled Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) breast implants had been "re-branded" as M-implants and sold by a Dutch company.

Studies last year found the manufacturers of PIP breast implants not only did not use a protective shell but used an untested gel, said to have been intended for use in mattresses.