The crisis surrounding breast implants manufactured by the French company Poly Implant Prosthèse (PIP) allied to some sensationalist media reporting has led to some women becoming unduly worried by breast augmentation procedures according to eminent aesthetic surgeon Professor Laurence Kirwan MD, FRCS, FACS - Harley Street Plastic Surgeon and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons
Professor Kirwan was particularly upset by the misleading reporting contained in the BBC3 documentary ‘Are my fake breasts safe’ that was screened earlier this month and in which he was interviewed.
“In the programme Emma Kenny (psychologist) claims that scientific research demonstrates that the results of breast augmentation are short lived when in Fact the literature shows the exact opposite,” said Professor Kirwan.
“She says that women desiring implants have psychoneuroses which can be corrected for a fifth of the price of a breast augmentation. The research again states quite clearly that women seeking implants are completely normal and that their 'psychoneuroses' are cured by breast implants.”
The documentary’s presenter, Gemma - a former beauty queen and television journalist who recently had her PIP implants removed - states repeatedly throughout the programme that women with breast implants must be resigned to an obligatory change of their implants every 10 years with all the attendant risks and complications. However, the programme includes an interview with the first breast implant recipient who is now in her 80's and still has her original implants.
“One of the most contentious statements in the programme is that for a woman to choose implants is somehow a denial of her own 'feminism' as interpreted in the 1960's Gloria Steinem sense,” said Professor Kirwan.
“In this 'documentary' the whole issue of PIP implants is hijacked, predictably, into a 57 minute diatribe as to why breast implants are bad for women.”
“My own edited contribution was abbreviated to a sound bite in support of private practitioners. I do support private practitioners but the way my views were presented jarred with the programme’s viewpoint that 'evil' private practitioners are to blame although they give no explanation for the 5000 implants used in breast reconstruction victims in the NHS.”
“They interview a female NHS Plastic Surgeon at length, in a laudatory fashion, as if the NHS never saw or heard of PIP implants until they where banned. There are two examples included of physicians patting themselves on the back for not using them. One immortalises himself with the words that ‘if something is so cheap it is obviously a faulty product’. Perhaps that is so, but clearly not so obvious to all the NHS consultants who have been using them for the last 12 years,” said Professor Kirwan.
“As an aside, I have actually met intelligent, independent, 'feminist' women with breast implants and I think these attributes are compatible.”