BERLIN (Reuters) - German authorities on Friday advised women with silicone breast implants manufactured by a French firm accused of using unapproved industrial-grade material to have them removed.
The Federal Office for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices said reports from doctors had shown the implants may constitute a health risk even if they had not yet shown signs of rupture.
"The Office thus recommends that the implants in question be removed as a precautionary measure," the body's president, Walter Schwerdtfeger, said in a statement.
"The urgency for removal in each case depends mainly on how long the patients have had the implants," he said.
Germany advised women with the implants to have them examined last month, but reports showing that silicone could seep out of implants without signs of tearing led the Office to raise its risk assessment.
The death from cancer last year of a French woman using the implants made by the now-defunct Poly Implant Prothese SA (PIP) has caused a global health scare.
Some 300,000 PIP implants were sold worldwide before the French company went bankrupt in 2010.