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French breast implant scandal – what the surgeons knew

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Prothèse PIP défectueuse © Reuters Prothèse PIP défectueuse © Reuters

The breast implant scandal in which faulty implants with sub-standard silicone gel were supplied to women all around the world revealed how the French company PIP that made them fiddled safety inspections to avoid being found out. Mediapart has since exposed the extent to which the French medical watchdog was slow to react to this growing scandal. Now, based on previously unpublished documents, this website can disclose that years before the PIP affair came to light many of the surgeons who bought and used the implants for patients were concerned at the substandard nature of the product – and that some unsuccessfully tried to raise the alarm. Michel de Pracontal reports.

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French medical watchdog 'slow to act over faulty breast implant scandal'

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Mediapart has seen a confidential internal document that criticises France's medical watchdog for not reacting fast enough to fears that thousands of women were being fitted with sub-standard breast implants made by French company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP). The report, written by an employee of the agency, claims that it could have prevented up to 10,000 women from having the implants, which posed a risk of rupturing and damaging their health. The agency insists it has nothing to hide and strongly denies removing any damaging details from its own official report into its handling of the affair. Michel de Pracontal reports.