Memorandum by Chris Squires (B 7)
I am a casualty of Silicone Gel Implants who
was told that her implants would last a lifetime. I had implants
in place for 21 years. Approximately five years later my implants
slowly began to harden. I had no idea at that time what this meant,
as my surgeon had never explained this to me. I now know it is
called "Capsular Contracture". When women find this
happening to them, upon visiting their plastic surgeon, are informed
that this only happens to a small percentage of people.
During the time that I had my implants I went
though a procedure called "Closed Capsulotomy", which
helps soften the breast. This is done by the surgeon crushing
the breast with the Implant between their hands, which is very
painful and can often result in the implant rupturing and accelerating
other problems. The last time I had this procedure was twice in
It was some time after that I began to experience
different health problems and became increasingly ill. On the
advice of my plastic surgeon, I had an ultrasound scan and a mammogram.
This was carried out in 1995 but did not show any rupture. At
that time I did not know the full implications of a rupture. My
health problems were:
chronic fatigue, muscle aches and pains, stiff
joints, headaches and cold pains in head, bowel problems, short-term
memory loss and numbness or pins and needles in hands and feet.
I finally had my implants removed in 1996 and
they were found to be ruptured. I reported my rupture and health
problems to the M.D.A. and have written numerous letters, but
they never responded.
I recently had a mammogram at my local hospital.
The radiographer told me that she sees many women with implants.
She said that she was afraid to put pressure on implants in case
they were to rupture.
I asked if all women were questioned as to the
age of their implants and she replied, "no". She had
also become aware of the fact that women not been properly informed
about the implications of having a mammogram once they have silicone
implants. Women get very angry and upset when they are told that
most of their breast tissue is blocked by the implant, therefore
not giving a good mammogram. I ask you, what is the use of a mammogram
when you have implants when clearly it is a waste of time?
There is no compulsory register for breast implant
people; therefore long term problems go unreported. Apparently
there is a voluntary register, but what good is that when nobody
enforces them, especially the plastic surgeons who do not wish
to face up to the fact that they may have harmed women by putting
these implants into women's bodies? Therefore how does the IRG
propose to study our health problems?
(see enclosed letters number 2) 
As I belong to "Action Against Silicone
Gel UK" my name and telephone number has been put forward
as a contact number for ladies who wish to speak to someone who
will listen to their concerns and worries. There are various problems
that they encounter, for example, to get their GP's to listen
and believe that they are ill, in the first place. They then enter
into a vicious circle of visiting different doctors and having
lots of tests and being informed that there is nothing wrong.
Doctors' attitudes to women leave a lot to be
desired. The appalling attitude of many doctors who after various
tests to establish and pin point the health problem and find nothing
specific, then begin to label women as "neurotic", making
statements like "it's all in your head"! These doctors
need to be educated about Silicone Implants. (see enclosed letter
To think that this doctor who I only saw for
approximately ten minutes could make such a ridiculous diagnosis.
It made me so angry to think that this man does
not know me, but had the audacity to write such nonsense, I'm
How many women will this doctor see? When he
cannot make a proper diagnosis will he label them as having psychological
problems and needing antidepressants! (GOD PROTECT US FROM THESE
Women are finding it increasingly difficult
to get their silicone implants removed on the NHS, to get them
removed safely along with the capsules. This has happened since
the IRG report stating that there is no scientific evidence that
Silicone causes ill health. (see enclosed letter number 3)
Maybe one day when everybody starts to listen
and take notice of all the women who are ill, proper studies will
take place, not studies of women that have only had implants in
place for six months. There is a latency period before it becomes
apparent that they may have problems. This could be four years
to eight years after implantation or even 15 years, it all depends
on the individual. (see enclosed documentation number 4)
The IRG announced at their open day in October
that they were putting money into the study of ruptures. They
know already that Implants rupture over time. Sometimes sooner
rather than later, as many people have reported already. So why
waste money unnecessarily when America has already carried out
these studies a long time ago?
For your information I have been diagnosed with
Post Silicone Implant Syndrome at St Thomas's Hospital in Westminster.
I have been treated very well by all doctors in residence. I also
attend the Rheumatology Clinic who are continuing to help assist
me and monitor my health problems.
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