Business

Lloyds TSB refunds cost of woman's faulty breast implants

Surgeon with implants
Image caption The implants were manufactured by the French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP)

A woman who was given PIP breast implants that ruptured has had their cost refunded by her credit card provider.

She said Lloyds TSB refunded her £3,700 on the grounds she was sold faulty goods.

Credit card companies provide a form of insurance for customers who pay more than £100 for a product that turns out to be faulty.

Around 40,000 women in the UK had the implants, made by French company PIP.

The woman, a hairdresser in her 40s from the Midlands - who does not want to be named - had the implants in 2008.

Concerns about the PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) implants arose after it was revealed some had been made using inferior industrial grade silicon which could leak and cause pain.

'Ray of hope'

The firm's products were banned in 2010 when it emerged that industrial grade silicone was being used.

Implants should be made from medical grade material, which has passed safety tests for use in a human body.

No increased risk of toxicity has been reported, but the implants are at greater risk of rupturing.

Most were fitted in private clinics and the company which made them has now closed.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) said the move should offer a "ray of hope" to other patients with PIP implants.

The Midlands woman discovered she had been given PIP implants last September when she found a lump and went to a breast cancer clinic.

She said: "I was quite worried, but I was told it was just a rupture of my implants. It was only later I realised there was a health risk. I was really quite poorly with it."

The woman had the implants removed on the NHS in October, and asked a firm of solicitors if she could get her money back.

The company that performed the surgery had gone into administration, but as she paid by credit card she applied to Lloyds TSB for a refund and received the money in full three months later.

She said the credit card company were "wonderful":

"If I had gone through the solicitors they would have taken a sizeable part of it.

"Women need to be aware they can easily do it themselves."

Fazel Fatah, a consultant plastic surgeon and president of BAAPS, said: "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."

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