Nearly 1,500 breast implant removals in Belgium during 2017
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    Nearly 1,500 breast implant removals in Belgium during 2017

    © Belga
    Reasons for removal of breast implants include lesions, discharge of bodily fluids, pain and absence of feeling in the chest.
    © Belga

    No fewer than 1,458 women had to have a breast implant removed in Belgium in 2017. The figure emerged on Monday, from new findings from the “Implant Files” investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (“ICIJ”). The investigation is being run in Belgium, jointly by Le Soir, Knack and De Tijd. On a global scale, therefore, one breast implant in ten should be removed.

    There are multiple reasons for such removals. These include lesions, discharge of bodily fluids, pain, absence of feeling in the chest, inflammation of tissues surrounding the silicon, loss of energy and even muscle pains.

    Through a lack of information, women who have breast implants are often unaware of the risks or of the secondary effects. Hugues Malonne, of the Federal agency for Drugs and Health Products (“AFMPS”), stresses, “These implants should however be changed every ten years.”

    It also appears that breast implants can be the cause of a cancer to the immune system, a rare pathology called Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (“BIA-ALCL”), which affects 570 women worldwide. The survey indicates that the lack of patient information may be explained by the significant lobbying work of medical technology manufacturers.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times