Israel Opens Breast-implants Hotline in Wake of French Scare

Israel's Health Ministry estimates 850 women in the country have PIP implants, which represents 5% of the total number of women who have undergone implant procedures in Israel.

Some 1,000 Israeli women placed calls Sunday to a special Health Ministry hotline to seek advice about their breast implants. The ministry set up the hotline in response to the French government's recommendation to 3,000 women in that country to remove breast implants manufactured by the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP ) company; PIP implants are suspected of being prone to rupture and leakage.

Israel's Health Ministry estimates that 850 women in the country have PIP implants. This figure represents 5% of the total number of women who have undergone implant procedures in Israel. The hotline information indicates that PIP implant procedures were not conducted in public hospitals in this country; nor were PIP products used by most private medical centers. Use of this type of implants was apparently made at a few private centers, including Atidim, Synopsis, Nara, the Rafael Clinic in Ramat Gan and the Ramat Aviv Medical Center. Around 10 physicians are known to have conducted implant procedures in Israel with the use of PIP products.

Eliahu Ben-Yigal

Late last week, the Health Ministry banned PIP implant procedures in the country. Ministry officials have also called on women who have undergone implant procedures to clarify the product's identity with the relevant physician. The list of doctors who used PIP products will be available on the ministry hotline.

Women who had PIP implants should be checked by private plastic surgeons, or by physicians at health maintenance organization clinics or public hospitals, the ministry says. Ministry guidelines stipulate that these women should undergo physical examinations as well as ultrasound checks, to ascertain whether there is implant leakage, as has occurred in past months among women in France. Should leakage be discovered, doctors are instructed to remove the implant in a surgical procedure.

In general, the ministry recommends that all women who have undergone implant procedures undergo annual checks by the relevant surgeon, in order to verify that there has been no leakage. Up to now, there have been very few reported cases of the removal of ruptured implants in Israel, and no reports have circulated about new cases of leakage in recent weeks.

Read this article in Hebrew.