January 7th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) After many more claims and reports of ruptures in countries around the world, and several health systems in other countries deciding to remove breast implants manufactured by the now-defunct French company, PIP, from their female citizens at no cost, the Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS or Caja) decided to remove PIP implants from Costa Rican women who did not have the financial means to have the implants removed on their own.
To date, the Caja has a register of 255 women that had the PIP implants, 96 of which were registered in Hospital Mexico, 34 in the Calderon Guardia Hospital and 125 in the San Juan de Dios Hospital.
Of these, 187 have already had the implants removed: 67 in the Mexico Hospital, 24 in Calderon Guardia, and 96 in San Juan de Dios.
CCSS only removes the implants, and does not replace them, as the CCSS does not cover surgeries for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes. The patient, if they choose, must purchase new implants from a private provider.
According to Maria Eugenia Villalta, Medical Manager at CCSS, 34 women did not accept the surgery that was offered to them, and 19 others were not able to have the implants removed for other reasons, such as being out of the country, or being pregnant or breastfeeding.
“There is a small group of women that we were not able to locate, but the majority of them accepted to have the [implants removed]. Some women are still approaching our health centers, and we are still carrying out the surgery. We would also like to call out to those women whom we were not able to locate, so that they can approach the health centers, should they be interested in [removing] them,” explained Villalta.
A recent study from the Health Department in the United Kingdom indicated that the implants from the French company Poly Implant Protheses are not toxic, though they do indicate that the implants have a higher risk of rupture.
However, there have been a number of cases of various types of cancers and other health problems that have been blamed on the implants, which used an unauthorized silicon gel mixture.
The founder of the company is wanted in Costa Rica on “life and health” offenses, through a warrant issued by Interpol.