A MUM-OF-FOUR whose breast implants contain banned silicone has demanded action from private medical companies.
Rebecca Ashton, 33, is one of thousands of women whose implants consist of industrial silicone usually used in mattresses.
Miss Ashton, from Clayton-le-Moors fears her implants may have leaked, putting her at risk of serious health problems.
Now she and sister-in-law Vikki Ashton, who also has PIP breast implants, have set up a Facebook page for women affected by the issue.
They are calling on private medical companies to replace the implants or take them out free of charge.
Miss Ashton, from Clayton-le-Moors, paid £4,150 to be fitted with PIP (Poly Implant Prostheses) implants four years ago.
But it has since emerged that the defunct French company PIP filled its implants with industrial silicone, originally manufactured for use in the mattress industry, rather than medical grade silicone.
Miss Ashton said: “I had my breasts done in September 2007, through the Harley Medical Group in Manchester. I went from an A to a D.
“I was 29-years-old, I’d had all my children and I did it for cosmetic reasons. I wanted some boobs because I’d never had any.
“Everything as far as the Harley Medical Group was concerned was fine and the aftercare was brilliant - until the PIP scandal.”
Miss Ashton said she was extremely concerned because she had discovered a lump on her bikini line and previously developed a lump under her arm.
She said: “I don’t know if that’s anything to do with my breasts.
“The doctors say that when they leak the liquid goes wherever it wants.”
Around 300,000 of the PIP implants were sold worldwide, with 40,000 fitted in the UK.
European health authorities have recommended that women fitted with the banned implants should have them removed as a precaution.
The NHS concluded that there was not enough evidence to recommend their routine removal, but it is taking the implants out if there is medical need, risk or unresolved concerns.
Miss Ashton’s GP has referred her for an appointment at an NHS breast clinic at Burnley General Hospital on January 30.
She said: “I’ve been offered a full examination where they take biopsies of your breast tissue and do four different tests.
“For the last week I haven’t slept properly. I only wish I had done something a year ago when I first spotted a lump.
“I feel like I know they are ruptured and I’m just praying there is no health impact.”
Miss Ashton, her sister-in-law and their friend Fiona Platt, hope their Facebook page, called the PIP Implant Forum, will bring together women affected by the issue.
She said: “Harley Medical Group are now saying if they have ruptured they will replace them for free if they were within the last six years.
“The NHS have been fabulous, they’ve done what they can, it’s the private companies we have a problem with.
“We’re not saying it’s their fault, we’re just saying you sold us them and if you bought a car and it was faulty you would get your money back or a replacement car.”
The Harley Medical Group said it was first trying to identify which of its patients had PIP implants, before contacting them and checking their medical records.
In a letter sent to patients on Friday, January 13, Harley urged anybody experiencing symptoms such as pain, heat around the breast area, redness, inflammation or rippling to call its team directly.
The letter said: “We fully understand just how anxious, angry and concerned you are. We are sorry and apologise sincerely. Our top priority is you.
“We understand from speaking to many of you that you would like to have your implants replaced as soon as possible.
“Unfortunately The Harley Medical Group does not have enough hospitals, surgeons and staff to manage this alone. Nor does it have scanning facilities. We will require help. We have spoken to the NHS again and plan to meet them again next week.
“Almost 14,000 of you are involved in this situation. We currently treat around 4,000 patients a year so I hope you will understand the scale of the problem we are seeking to resolve.
“We recognise our responsibility and are determined to help everyone who has been in our care.
“We would like to thank you for your understanding and patience in this very difficult time.”