Belfast Telegraph

Breast implant scare model Gemma Garrett calls for strict controls

By Amanda Poole

Northern Irish model Gemma Garrett has called for greater regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry after her breast implants ruptured.

The former Miss Great Britain also expressed her shock after children told her how they wanted surgery for enhanced breasts as soon as they could possibly get it.

In 2008, aged 26, Gemma paid £4,500 for Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP) breast implants, which were subsequently banned for containing industrial grade silicone.

After feeling unwell and noticing a change to the shape of her implants, doctors discovered they had ruptured inside the body of the 30-year-old model from Dundonald and silicone had leaked into her breast tissue.

Gemma had them removed in 2011 at a cost of £11,500 and, until recently, endured painful medical procedures every six weeks to drain blood from cavities that formed.

In a BBC3 documentary, Gemma Garrett: Are my fake breasts safe?, Gemma investigated why young women want to go under the knife and what the Government is doing to make women more aware of the risks associated with breast augmentation.

“Surgery is so available to young girls,” Gemma told the Belfast Telegraph.

“It can be advertised as a lunchtime boob job and young girls are sucked in and don’t realise all the risks. There should be better regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry.”

Gemma said she was shocked to hear 15 and 16-year-old girls say they wanted to have breast implants as soon as they can.

“I was horrified,” Gemma said. “When I was 15, I was thinking about shoes and jeans, not altering my body. The girls didn’t realise implants have to be replaced every decade and that so many things can go wrong.”

Background

Around 50,000 women in the UK have Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP) breast implants. They were banned in 2010 for containing industrial grade silicone. Last December the French government recommended that women with PIP implants have them removed as a precaution. In January 2012, a UK expert committee said the NHS will remove and replace PIP implants if women want.

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