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Background Info

The Key Issues
Leaking silicone breast implants dangerously affect the health of women.

Millions of women, and now girls as young as 16, are undergoing breast implant surgery (boob jobs). Shockingly, some parents pay for this as a graduation or birthday gift. It has become trendy to have breast implant surgery. Celebrities flaunt their ‘enhanced’ breasts and young girls want to look like them. Famous faces in our everyday media have the money to get the implants replaced whenever they choose – and they have ready access to private health aftercare. However they are still vulnerable to illness. The gaunt look becomes noticeable when ailments strike, especially a few years after being implanted.

Implants rupture. It’s a question of ‘WHEN’ NOT ‘if’. Professor Radford Shanklin, who was involved with Silicone Support UK, states that 60% of implants rupture by 10 years and by 20 years most will rupture. He also believes 90% of women get symptoms of silicone disease up to 10-20 years after augmentation.

Ruptures allow silicone gel to enter the bloodstream which insidiously assaults the body and ends up in a person’s major organs including the lymph nodes, liver, kidneys, lungs and brain. The consequent illnesses are now classified as New Silicone Disease. However, there are:

•No tests to detect illness
•No records kept when it occurs
•No appropriate follow-up treatments.

This situation must change. Manifestations of silicone poisoning are hugely damaging to the women and their families. They also cost the country significant amounts of money in medical intervention and benefit claims due to ill-health.

Silicone Support Group UK (Margo Cameron, leader) was set up in 1992 to support women made ill by ruptured Implants. Sick women attended the group while other women cried down the phone for help as they encountered hosts of horrendous ailments.

The average account of ailments included a host of terrifying conditions including:

•memory loss,
•extreme fatigue,
•tingling and pins and needles
•inflammation around the body,
•pain in joints and muscles,
•flu-like symptoms, low grade fever,
•irregular heartbeat,
•permanent cough,
•spitting up lumps of substance that goes brick hard when exposed to air,
•feeling of suffocation with lots of fluid forming in the lungs,
•mouth ulcers, dental infections,
•itchy scalp and skin, conjunctivitis,
•dry eyes,
•sore throats, dry mouth, swollen glands, enlarged painful lymph nodes,
•swollen spleen and stomach,
•colon problems,
•bladder infections,
•swelling behind knees (cluster of pea size nodes) extending up to top of
•crawling and pinching feeling up and down legs, j
•jerking of muscles,
•heavy period bleeding,
•high percentage of miscarriages and hysterectomies,
•and children of sick women having rheumatic disorders.

Women have also been diagnosed with an array of diseases including Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Reynaud’s Disease, Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis.

The dangers of silicone implants can no longer be denied. If someone was carrying a serious flu virus, warnings would be given immediately to fellow human beings. It is the same immune system that fights both the flu virus and invading silicone poisons.

People generally recover from flu and immunisations are produced to help this process. Silicone can silently leak from its casing and travel insidiously through the lymph system. Too late, the effects become apparent. And, no matter how hard it fights, the body cannot rid itself of this invader. Women have little hope of their condition being recognised, far less tested and successfully treated.

Dr. Diana Zuckerman’s important evidence at the meeting on 8 June 2006 includes

“What happened for these women, and what we found in talking to women, is that most of them are happy with their implants for several years, sometimes for many years, but slowly and surely the implants break, they leak, the women don't know it, and usually, much longer than seven or ten years, they find out too late that the implants have leaked into their lymph nodes under the arm and from there can go to their lungs and their liver”

A genuine record is needed to gauge the experiences of augmented women and document the ailments they endure. Women should have regular scans with a scanner designed to detect even the smallest leakage of silicone gel. Implants should be removed immediately rupture occurs. But even this can be too late as the damage is already done. Although women know something is wrong, they cannot provide visible or tangible proof. A special scan is required to detect leaking silicone gel in the body.

Medical establishments recommend an MRI scan after 3 years to detect rupture. This means women whose ailments are not ‘recognised’ are effectively barred from having this scan. Where is their ‘freedom of choice’ when the medical profession refuses to acknowledge, far less recognise, their condition?

The UK law states that a complaint must be established before 3 years are up. Without doubt, there is a glaring discrepancy between these recommendations. Solicitors will only get involved in a case if a person complains about illness or rupture within 3 years of getting implanted. This is known as the three year time-bar. Complaints about a medical injury must be made before 3 years have passed. After this time, they will not be investigated.

However, most solicitors in the country said “because of the 3 year time bar for medical injury set up by the government they have no power to act”. The Government has to change the law to allow investigation and action. The Law Society in Edinburgh could not provide either information or justice and actually asked me “what was happening with women regarding silicone breast implant concerns”.

The 3-year time bar is too short. There should, in fact, be no time bar. It takes much longer, and may even be impossible, for women to obtain visible or tangible proof.

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