Lawyer Saga Ýrr Jónsdóttir, the representative of Icelandic women who are preparing a joint lawsuit over faulty PIP breast implants, and who now number 63, said they are upset because the government will not finance their removal unless they have started leaking.
Silicone-filled breast implants. The photo is not directly related to the story. Source: Wikipedia.
“It’s like telling you that you have ticking time bomb inside you but that it won’t be removed until it has exploded,” commented Saga Ýrr to RÚV.
“I don’t have the money for surgery but all I want is to have [the PIP implants] removed,” added one of the women, who prefers to remain anonymous, to Morgunblaðið.
“I will have an ultrasound examination as all the women have been offered but I don’t know what I will do if it turns out that I’m all right that day but then what? I would prefer having a checkup every week—are they willing to pay for that?”
According to ruv.is, seven years have passed since physicians in the US first expressed concern about the quality of PIP implants, which upon inspection proved to be three times more likely to rupture than other implants.
It later turned out that they contained industrial silicone as used in electronic equipment rather than medical silicone, designed specifically for implants in the human body.
In Iceland 440 women have PIP implants. They were imported and implanted by plastic surgeon Jens Kjartansson who runs a private clinic and also works as senior physician at the Landspítali national hospital plastic surgery ward.
Jens announced yesterday that he will take a fourth-month leave from his duties at Landspítali due to illness which progressed during the current strain.
According to Stöd 2, the Directorate of Health knew of the PIP implants’ potential health hazard in the spring of 2010, as stated on visir.is.
Medical Director of Health Geir Gunnlaugsson said the women who had these implants weren’t notified immediately because it hadn’t yet been confirmed that they were potentially dangerous.
Jens told pressan.is that he had contacted the Directorate of Health on his own initiative at the time to inform its employees that he had used PIP implants and that he was thinking about writing a letter to all the women who had such implants to notify them of the risk of rupture. However, it was considered to be inappropriate.
Geir said that at the time Kristján Oddsson was Acting Medical Director of Health. Geir said he knew Jens had contacted the authority’s staff but was unaware of the details of their conversations. Stöd 2 was unable to contact Kristján for comment.
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