Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bosoms


I've had several female readers ask why I haven't written about latest breast implant problems so I hope this post answers their questions.

It's common knowledge that certain private health clinics and some surgeons in the English NHS have used the French-made Poly Implant Prothese implants. (I understand they have not been used by the NHS in Scotland).

Today Nicola Sturgeon met with a delegation of women to call for a public inquiry into the scandal. The Labour MSP Jackie Baillie accompanied the women and said 'the victims of this scandal deserve answers and expect action.'

In the past 15 years two of my friends have had breast cancer and both opted for implants. One died because her cancer was too aggressive and the other still has regular checkups. Her implant (she only has one) suits her body shape and, at a glance, it's impossible to identify it is false. Her operation was carried out by an NHS plastic surgeon who carefully explained all the dangers of any form of implant or invasive surgery and she admitted at the time that she would not have considered the operation if she had not experienced balance problems after her mastectomy. The suggestion was an implant may help and it has.

Breast implants for any other reason than medical, is a problem for me. Perhaps it's generational, but I find the photo of Helen Flanagan (picture) anything but flattering. For those interested she's the current girlfriend of a footballer.

There's nothing alluring or sexy about false breasts on many women, but it's all the fashion within certain circles and many women will pay thousands of pounds to attain this look through cosmetic surgery. That's fine with me, as long as they don't expect the taxpayer to right any wrongs or to remove them in later years when they suddenly realise how ridiculous they look on an older woman.

I'm told by a retired nursing friend that complications with this and other cosmetic surgery is more frequent than publicised. The NHS has to pick up the pieces of women (and men) who have been victims of poor procedures undertaken by the private sector.  Nowadays surely there's no excuse for anyone not fully understanding the pros and cons of cosmetic surgery?

The women who met with Nicola Sturgeon today were most fortunate. I know of one friend who has been suffering serious back pain for some months now. She is confined to her home because the amount of diamorphine she requires makes walking difficult.  Her problem is exposed spinal nerves caused by years of wear and tear as a PE teacher. There is something that can be done for her and to date she's spent a fair amount of money using private consultants for examinations, but the NHS Pain Clinic in Dundee has an 18 week waiting list, so she will be completely incapacitated until she attends there for the treatment she knows will help. My friend would dearly love to meet with Nicola Sturgeon to ask why she's having to wait so long for treatment. If it was available privately she would use her small savings to pay for some relief from the relentless agony, which is only alleviated for around 30 minutes after her 6 hour doses of diamorphine and other medication.

I hope Ms Sturgeon explains to Jackie Baillie and these women that it is not in the people's interests for a public enquiry to be undertaken with regard to their voluntary procedure for cosmetic breast enhancements. They know should they have any on-going medical problems with their expensive 'enhancements' the NHS will be their first port of call and the taxpayer will pay, but we shouldn't be paying to remove PIP implants or replacing them.

That money would be far better spent on providing another specialist pain clinic in Scotland rather than sending Scots 500 miles south to Bath.

26 comments:

RMcGeddon said...

Lots of running about blaming everyone else for the implant disaster because they know the truth is best kept secret.
That the implants were EU accredited with the 'CE' marking and that even if we wanted to test them ourselves before licensing them in the UK it would be illegal under EU rules and France could take us to court.
So lots of smoke and mirrors are required to guide everyone away from the EU where the buck should stop.

Macheath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

SR - Send a copy of your post direct to Sturgeon.

18 weeks of waiting for a diagnosed pain to be relieved is unacceptable.

The NHS has its faults and one is generic to all large bureaucratic organisations namely the box ticking of schedules. Kick up a fuss - it's the creaky hinge that gets the most oil - they will find her a slot.

As to the implants, the reactions of the private providers shows their integrity factor in a very dim light.

Michael Fowke said...

That Helen Flanagan (in the photo) is amazing, but I can't understand why she walks around the streets in her nightie. I'm not complaining though.

Richard said...

"There's nothing alluring or sexy about false breasts on many women."

One bloke here says +1 to that. Figures like the girl in the picture are quite common now, and rather then arouse, they make me laugh, I'm afraid. It's a sad laughter, though. Who told them they were so inadequate and unloveable that they had to pay thousands and risk serious complications just to look quote sexy unquote?

They share the same box in my mental library as orange tans and tribal tattoos.

I've changed my mind since I wrote this. I'm happy for the NHS to do whatever it takes to remove the defective implants and make the situation safe. These girls got it wrong, but must be very frightened and it's up to the rest of us to help out. But it stops there. No replacements, now or in the future.

pa_broon74 said...

The 18 week waiting time is poor indeed. I'm tempted to ask for your friend's details because I have become adept at coercing medical staff (of any level) to prompt action.

The fact is, they say 18 weeks knowing that a good percentage of people will just accept it, however, if you get a little pushy, or lets say assertive about things, you can get an appointment in a couple of weeks.

I know because I've had to do it on behalf of my mum and dad several times.

On breast implants, I agree with you SR, the public shouldn't have to cough up for replacements although removal is acceptable to me. We all do things that are harmful to our health, where does one draw the line. (I have a motorbike for example. I don't believe the NHS should cough up to improve my reflexes or spatial awareness, but if I fall off it, its nice to know they're there.)

In terms of the lady in the picture, I can see at least two things making a bid for freedom, I think they're going to make it too.

Brian said...

RMcG has it spot on about the CE mark system. With any damages there has to be effecctive legal redress. For microlight aircraft without a type certificate the solution is to sue the manufacturer and hope they are still in business. For items "protected" by the CE mark one ought to be able to sue the EU Commissioner responsible for the relevant area of responsibility. Cameron ought to get a prosthetic pair implanted (yes, they are made for testicular cancer and trauma survivors) and withhold the amount incurred for remedial surgery from our EU protection money.

subrosa said...

Aye RM, there's been no further investigative journalism into the CE symbol has there?

subrosa said...

I've suggested my friend email our MP Crinkly, but they're the type of folk who 'don't like to create a noise'.

Will be seeing her tomorrow so think I may just say I'll type the email for her. She can't sit down, only stand or lie down.

subrosa said...

Oh Michael, yer taste in in yer mooth as we say here. :)

subrosa said...

As I said in the post Richard, the NHS will - and always have - come to the rescue if things go wrong. But I disagree that the NHS should do 'preventative' surgery just in case someone has a problem. If they found the money to have the op done they surely they can find it to have them removed if that's what they want?

Sounds harsh I know, but it's time youngsters realised that any knife wielding surgery has its dangers. This culture of nipping to a surgeon because you have wrinkles etc has to stop and women have to start respecting themselves instead of wanting to be the image of some minor celeb.

subrosa said...

They've tried the pushy bit pa_broon (well what they think is pushy), by visiting the GP last week when they got the letter telling her about the 18 week wait. I'd be at the GP every day but of course that's impossible for her because just having to sit for any length of time is hell.

I believe there are around 4000 in Scotland who have had these implants at private clinics somewhere. That's a lot of surgery time taken from the NHS if they all want them removed.

subrosa said...

Brian, I think the French believe that now they have the supplier then they've no further responsibility. Of course that's not true but the MSM aren't investigating further - at least I can't find anything.

Yes I realise there are all sorts of prosthetics made. I used to know a woman who made eyes and her work was fascinating. Also I met a few of her 'customers' and you could really tell the difference between the false and seeing eye. She only supplied to the NHS because she said their testing standards were highest.

That's a few years ago now and the EU are now the testers. See where that's got us.

JRB said...

If ever you wished to see in practice the bureaucratic and administrative madness that has become the EU, then the ‘CE’ mark is the perfect example.

Basically the CE mark just means that the product has been manufactured within the European Union. It can be applied equally to products as diverse as gardening equipment, kitchen utensils as it does to medical products.

The European Commission has created an entire level of bureaucracy with its own buildings and staff merely to address the CE mark. In order to justify its existence this so called “Department of Enterprise & Industry – CE Marking” have produced innumerable ‘directives’ relating to individual products.

You would think that these product ‘directives’ proffered some degree of quality standard upon the granting of the CE mark. Well not really, it is left entirely to the manufactures recognisance to say that they have followed the ‘directive’. That is good enough for them to be granted the CE mark.

So many complaints have been made about this inept bureaucratic and administrative department that the EU has had to create yet another level of bureaucracy with its own buildings and staff merely to address these complaints, the so called “European Association for the Co-ordination of Consumer Representation in Standardisation” – ANEC for short.

subrosa said...

Thanks for that information JRB. In your line of work were you ever suspicious about any EC marked products? If so, what happened if anyone complained?

Brian said...

JRB, actually the CE mark means that the tested prototype of the product conforms to the essential requirements of the relevanant EU Directive. That's why it also stands for Chinese Export.

cynicalHighlander said...

Nothing false here but the view is similar.

subrosa said...

I'd say the view is far superior CH.

Brian said...

And most Hawker Hunters had Sabrinas fitted to collect cannon cartridge links when the cannon were fired and prevent their ingestion by the engine. Sabrina was a 'fifties starlet in possession of similar aerodynamic fairings.

microdave said...

"I find the photo of Helen Flanagan anything but flattering"

I can just about understand a woman having breast implants if she was flat chested to start with. However there are good and bad examples of surgeons work, and they are BAD...

Compound this with an appalling choice of dress, and she is about as appealing as........actually, words fail me!

subrosa said...

I remember Sabrina Brian and I wouldn't say there was anything silicone about her.

subrosa said...

I was restrained in my post microdave. ;)

Billy said...

Silicone is highly poisonous Subrosa and thus not a very good idea to put into peoples bodies. You hear a lot about implants leaking that is because it eats its way through anything soft - you cannot use it on a car as it burns through the paint and causes the metal to rust so they use mastic instead. Why this stuff is used in humans I do not know?

Sheila said...

The thing that shocked me about this story was the number of women that go through unnecessary surgery for designer tits? boobs? I honestly thought it was mainly confined to silly celebs...

Necessary surgery and how to make the aftermath more liveable is a completely different matter.

Bosom(s), think this word definitely needs re-introducing Subrosa although singular and plural confuses me somewhat...

subrosa said...

Billy, I knew that I surely these women who elect to go for this surgery know it too, or are they plain daft?

subrosa said...

Seems there are 40,000 in the UK Sheila with 4,000 in Scotland.

Plural seemed to suit the title better Sheila. :)

My granny had a super bosom. It was like a bolster. Just wonderful to rest your head on when she read my bedtime story.

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