UK credit card company issues refund for PIP breast implant surgery

March 26, 2012

If you receive implants or injectable, make sure your clinician is using an FDA-approved product.
If you receive implants or injectable, make sure your clinician is using an FDA-approved product.

Sometimes there’s a big advantage to paying by credit card. The Guardian reports that a woman in the United Kingdom has received 3,700 pounds back from Lloyds TSB, a UK credit card company. She had used her credit card to pay for breast implant surgery. Unfortunately, she had been implanted with the problematic PIP implants, which the news source reports, “…were filled with non-medical grade silicone.”

The woman, a hairdresser in her 40s, underwent breast enlargement in 2008. Last September, she went to a breast cancer clinic after finding a lump. It was then that she discovered she had been given PIP implants, which had subsequently ruptured.

In October, she went to the National Health Service, had her implants removed and contacted a legal firm to see if she could get a refund for her original surgery. She discovered that the surgical group that had performed her operation had gone into “administration,” (an alternative to liquidation). Since she had paid with plastic, Lloyds TSB issued a full refund within three months after she had filled in the required form.

The British Association of Plastic Surgery (BAAPS) has taken a firm stance that PIP implants should be removed, preferably before rupture, and thinks it’s a shame that many clinics that used these devices will not replace them free of cost.

The president of BAAPS told the news source, “We’re delighted that at least a proportion of women who chose this method of payment should now have recourse to securing reimbursement for what are clearly defective substandard goods.”

PIP implants have not been sold in the United States, so for American women, they are a concern only for those who underwent implant surgery in another country. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery advises patients receiving implants or injectables “Make sure your clinician is using only FDA-approved products purchased within the United States. If he or she refuses to give you this information, seek another clinician.”

The mission of the Aesthetic Society includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Aesthetic Society, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

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