£3,700 refund from credit provider for woman with faulty PIP implants

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Lloyd's TSB, the provider of a credit card a woman used to pay for PIP breast implants which later ruptured, has refunded the cost of the procedure.

Breast-Implants

Most credit card companies operate an insurance policy for customers who pay more than £100 for a product that proves to be faulty. The woman, a hairdresser in her 40s from the Midlands, said that her bank refunded her £3,700 on the grounds that she had been sold faulty goods in 2008.

Concerns about the Poly Implant Prothese implants, made by the now-closed French firm PIP, were voiced after it became known that some had been manufactured from industrial silicon which could leak and cause pain.

Some 40,000 women in the UK had PIP implants, which were banned in 2010.

Breast implants should be of medical-grade material which has passed safety tests for use in the human body.

There have been no reports of an increased risk of toxicity. However, the PIP implants, most of which were fitted by private clinics, run a greater risk of rupturing.

The move offers a "ray of hope" to other receivers of PIP implants, said the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).

The woman, who has withheld her name, attended a breast cancer clinic in September 2011 on discovering a lump. It was then that she discovered she had received PIP implants.

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

In October the NHS removed the woman's implants and she sought legal advice on claiming a refund.

Although the firm that had undertaken the procedure had gone into administration, she was able to apply for a refund to Lloyds TSB as her credit card provider. She received the money in full 3 months later.

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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