Breast implants allegedly behind French woman's death
The French justice system is to investigate a breast implant manufacture after the death of a 53-year-old woman from lymphatic cancer on Monday in the southern French city of Marseille.
Doctors say Edwige Ligoneche may have died after the gel used to fill the implants leaked into her system.
This is not the first time implants produced by Poly Implants Prothèses, PIP, have raised concerns.
The company uses non-medical silicone for its products which is believed to seep through the implant into surrounding tissue causing the formation of small cysts.
The silicone also weakens the implant making it more likely to split.
PIP has sold over 300,000 of its implants around the world over the past 12 years - 30,000 alone in France.
In 2009, the French government agency responsible for medical equipment safety standards, Afssaps, received a number of complaints about the implants.
A year earlier, women in England complained their implants had ruptured soon after their operation and had decided to sue the company.
Afssaps found that 10 per cent of the company’s implant’s ruptured within a year. On average, implants should last over 10 years.
Following the discovery, the company withdrew its products from the market, but thousands of woman are known to still have the defective implants.
In 2010, the company’s founder, Jean-Michel Mas, was detained by police and could appear before a criminal court, along with other company employees.