Poly Implant Prothèse and Rofil Substandard Breast Implant Explantations from a Large German Single Centre from 2011 to 2014: A Comparative Study



Following a Europe-wide scandal, substandard breast implants containing silicone for industry purposes produced by Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP&Rofil) were explanted due to its potential health risks.


We investigated whether these implants actually imposed a threat to patients’ health.


In this retrospective single-centre case–control study, we compared patients with breast augmentation receiving implant explantation (01/2011–01/2015). Data were collected retrospectively from the patients’ records. Patients were split into two groups: PIP&Rofil and implants of other manufacturers.


A total of 307 patients with 495 breast implants met the inclusion criteria, 64 patients with 115 PIP&Rofil implants and 243 patients with 380 implants of other manufacturers. Comparison of descriptive statistics between the two groups revealed that for a variety of indicators (e.g. patient age, breast cancer, aesthetic vs. reconstructive indication, implant volume, submuscular vs. subglandular implant position) PIP implants differ from non-PIP implant patients. Raw mean comparison showed higher rupture rates for non-PIP implants, 28.42 % (PIP 23.48 %). However, when controlling for implant indwelling time, PIP implants had shown higher rupture rates. Both groups had similar rates of capsular contracture (PIP: 71.30 %, Others: 72.63 %) with different distribution of Baker Scores (Baker 2/3/4: PIP 5/8/13 and non-PIP 3/24/135).


Concerning patient symptoms, we did not find any objective reason to justify implant explantation of PIP&Rofil implants as a solely precautionary measure. As PIP&Rofil implants showed shorter retention periods until rupture and ruptured implants can cause symptoms or health problems, PIP&Rofil implants should be regularly monitored and explanted if there is evidence of rupture.

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Correspondence to Ulrich M. Rieger.

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Billner, M., Wirthmann, A., Reif, S. et al. Poly Implant Prothèse and Rofil Substandard Breast Implant Explantations from a Large German Single Centre from 2011 to 2014: A Comparative Study. Aesth Plast Surg 40, 507–513 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-016-0666-1

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  • PIP implants
  • Silicone
  • Breast implants
  • Implant rupture
  • Clinical findings
  • Capsular contracture