Anna Lóa Aradóttir, an Icelandic woman who had PIP breast implants implanted ten years ago—which have now turned out to contain industrial silicone—has now had them removed and wants research as to whether they may contain chemicals which can impact the health of breastfeeding children to be conducted.
The photo is not related to the story. Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.
She has sent the implants for chemical analysis in Canada on her own initiative, ruv.is reports.
Approximately one year ago, Anna Lóa often felt ill and physicians were unable to determine what was wrong with her. The illness was characterized by heart rhythm disturbances, breathing difficulties and a rash, among other symptoms.
When the news spread that some of the PIP breast implants contained industrial silicone instead of the medical variant and that some of them had ruptured and started leaking, causing illness, she decided to have them removed. It turned out that her implants had also started leaking.
Anna Lóa was concerned that the chemicals in her breast implants may have been carried into her breast milk while she was breastfeeding her son and consequently jeopardized his wellbeing.
She had Matís, an independent research institute, analyze a hair from her son and the results indicate that it contains heavy metals.
Anna Lóa describes the whole affair as “criminal”, given that people don’t know what chemicals the PIP implants contain and what consequences they might have for the health of women and children.
It has turned out that 440 women in Iceland have PIP breast implants. The government of Iceland agreed yesterday to offer them a free ultrasound scanning to examine the implants’ condition and consultancy on the next steps.
Minister of Welfare Guðbjartur Hannesson told ruv.is that ruptured implants will be removed but not those which are not considered to pose any immediate threat to the woman’s health.
The minister stated that with these measures Icelandic authorities are going much further in regards to private operations than authorities in Iceland’s neighboring countries.
However, former Minister of Health and current chair of the Alþingi parliament’s Welfare Committee Álfheiður Ingadóttir told Fréttablaðið that in her opinion, the Icelandic state should cover the cost of removing all PIP implants.
The state should then have the cost repaid by those who imported the implants and those responsible for the operations, Álfheiður reasoned, which in this case is actually the same person, plastic surgeon Jens Kjartansson who works privately and is senior physician of the Landspítali national hospital’s plastic surgery ward.
Álfheiður was minister in April 2010 when the Directorate of Health was notified that the PIP implants had been taken off the market in Europe. They were first banned in the US more than ten years ago.
Medical Director of Health Geir Gunnlaugsson said he decided when receiving the notification in 2010 to send a letter to all plastic surgeons and entrust them with informing their patients of the status of PIP implants.
He said he does not know of cases where surgeons continued to use the implants after the letters were sent.
Álfheiður was not informed. “I had no knowledge of this case, I wasn’t notified,” she said. “I find it very noteworthy that the implants had been banned for ten years in the United States and strange that the news didn’t spread to Iceland until 2010.”
Director of Landspítali Björn Zoëga told ruv.is that the progress of this matter will be monitored and that the position of Jens Kjartansson at the hospital will be reviewed once concluded.
According to Morgunblaðið, at least 52 women, of whom ten have ruptured implants, have now decided to join a lawsuit over the PIP implants.
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