Despite the America's Food and Drug Administration's call for a halt to silicon breast implants, Britain has lifted the ban on breast implant operations.
While America suspends all implant operations until new findings of risks can be avaluation, the UK's chief medical Officer Dr Kenneth Calman maintains that there is no new evidence to support continuing with such a ban.
Meanwhile, the American consumer watchdog group Health Research Group estimates that half a million American women have been harmed by breast implants.
According to the survey of 100,000 US households, 5 per cent had complications such as rupture or infection, another 15 per cent had hard breasts or bothersome breast firmness, and one third had scars that were considered "somewhat or very visible." Other complaints included breasts that were somewhat or very unnatural, pain or changes in sensation.
These figures project into an estimated half a million women with complaints about their operations.
The HRG has testified before Congress that some 155,000 women of the 2 million who have received implants have suffered complications such as rupture or leakage.
If a silicon implant ruptures and needs to be removed, it is impossible for surgeons to gather up all of the jelly like silicon from the body.
The remaining silicon can trigger an auto immune response, causing arthritis, or, occasionally scleroderma which causes a thickening of the skin, mucous membranes and connective tissues.
Based on action reports sent to the FDA by manufacturers, Dr Sidney Wolfe of the HRG estimates that some 50,000 women have had to undergo surgery to have their implants removed.
In Britain, an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 women a year receive breast implants, while in America, the totals amount to one woman in 50.
Some 80 per cent of operations are done for augmentation, and not for reconstruction following mastectomy.