The Venezuelan government has offered its citizens the opportunity to have faulty breast implants removed for free, the Associated Press reported. Women can go to a hospital that performs plastic surgery and have the implants removed, but they will not receive replacements for free as well.
Venezuela made this announcement after news broke that a certain type of French-made implants were possibly dangerous to a woman's health.
France insists that there is no link between the implants and cancer, but the government has recommended that all women who received implants from Poly Implant Prothese — about 30,000 women — get them removed or replaced, BBC reported. The French government has also offered to pay for the expense.
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Breast implants are popular in Venezuela, with as many as 40,000 women having enlargement surgery a year, according to Dr. Marisol Graterol, president of the Venezuelan Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Some girls receive breast implants as a birthday gift at age 15, and many women in Venezuela have used the French-made implants.
The popularity of breast implants has been a controversial subject in Venezuela. President Hugo Chavez caused an outrage in the country earlier this year when he told women to stop having them done.
PIP has sold more than 300,000 implants over the past 12 years. Its implants, which were some of the cheapest available, were taken off the market in 2010. France has opened a criminal investigation into the implant company, BBC stated.