The Royal College of Surgeons of England have given authoritative new professional and patient guidance on the PIP controversy.

The guidance goes beyond current government advice, which is aimed at patients with symptoms, and gives additional practical advice for the majority of patients who do not.

The full guidance can be downloaded here.


Key Points from the guidance:

  • All patients should be able to have an assessment by a surgeon regardless of whether they have symptoms.
  • If a patient requests removal – they should expect to get this, regardless of the presence of any symptoms. If a patient wants time to make up their minds this should be respected – surgery to remove implants must not be a time-limited “take it or leave it” offer.
  • Scans should only be used as a tool to assist patients make a decision and only take place after the patient has had a consultation with a surgeon. Scanning alone is not a reliable enough tool for detecting failure rates in breast implants.
  • Reaffirms the surgical association’s view that all clinics have an ethical and moral duty of care to offer these patients treatment without charge.
  • Advice to GPs on where to refer patients with different symptoms to ensure they get most appropriate treatment.