“For us, the consequences are for life” because of fraudulent breast prostheses

Worldwide, more than 300,000 women have been victims of the health scandal of PIP prostheses. Joelle Manighetti is one of them. With precision, this French denounces pell-mell the judicial slowness, the health deficiencies, the lessons not learned, the macho violence, but also the atrocious loneliness of the victims.


The appeal court of Aix-en-Provence confirms the sentence of 4 years in prison for “fraud and deception aggravated” against Jean-Claude Mas, the founder of the company PIP. This man, now 76 years old, has produced and sold tens of thousands of breast prostheses in defiance of any health standard.

Jean-Claude Mas, founder of the company “Poly Implant Prothèse”, liquidated in 2010. 80% of his production of prostheses were shipped outside France, especially in South America and Eastern Europe.


Until the end, the convict defended his product, a homemade silicone gel made from industrial silicone oil: “Scam? To whose prejudice? He protested. There have been a lot of tests done, I am a test maniac! “

He left the Court of Appeal without going through the prison cell, his lawyer having announced that he was going to appeal in cassation. Jean-Claude Mas refused to speak about his new conviction, releasing a lapidary to journalists: “Speak rather to the victims! “

What we have done.

“I’m in pain all the time”

7,000 women lodged civil proceedings.

One victim speaks of “a time bomb installed in his body”, another of “wasted lives”, yet another, referring to the PIP society and its management: “they made us laboratory rats”.

Joëlle Manighetti, she writes soberly on her blog: “This represents only a very small satisfaction with the damage that thousands of women have suffered in France and around the world. “

We meet Joëlle Manighetti, 60, married, three children, in a restaurant in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. These sentences on his blog caught our attention a few days earlier: “In November 2009, following a cancer, I had to undergo the removal of a breast that was replaced by a PIP prosthesis. I was among the first women to file a complaint when this global health scandal broke out in March 2010. I had to be reoperated several times to repair the damage caused by the prosthesis, which I only had for 6 months. (…) The last intervention, dating from June 2015, gave an aesthetic result about satisfactory, but my surgeon told me that he could do nothing more against pain. I have permanent pain all over the left hemithorax and sometimes all over my arm. “

“We are accused of filing a complaint for money, but we will be compensated by state agencies and at the end of proceedings, up to a maximum of 3,000 euros per victim. And even if this sum is multiplied by 10, it will never repair what we have suffered and what we continue to suffer. For us, the consequences are for life “

Joëlle is precise in the words she chooses. She can. For thirty years, she worked in the medical field. She opened her blog to help all women who wonder about this case, women often disoriented by the abundance of information sometimes contradictory, false or incomplete.

“I am angry because this fraud was possible and lasted ten years”

Joëlle Manighetti speaks with passion, without ever being overwhelmed by her feelings. She is keen, but refuses the sensational, the pathetic, the sensitive of which a lot of media crave. Scalded by the rough work of several journalists “in need of human” and who do not hesitate to burglar the hearts to make a sensation, we promise him to keep only his testimony, without comment.

Here it is.

“I am angry because for the last six years this fraud has been discovered, nothing has changed. The conviction of Jean Claude Mas (Director of the company PIP ndlr) is only the first judicial component, the one that recognizes that we were deceived about the goods that we sold to surgeons and who implanted us these prostheses. This is an “aggravated” deception, which means that the freeze is potentially dangerous and we realize that all women have a lot of problems .. We will be compensated by solidarity funds of the State. Yes, it’s the state that will pay, so us. These indemnities are “capped” with a maximum of 3000 euros per victim, knowing that this represents very little for women who have paid their interventions and who can not afford to refinance a new intervention. In any case, it will never bring back the health we have lost. “

In France, of the 30,099 implants withdrawn in total, 7,634 were classified as “defective”, representing a failure rate of 25.4%. (Wikipedia)


The lobby of cosmetic surgeons

“Personally, I was operated on eight times to repair the damage. All this is the Social Security that paid for it. It is absolutely abnormal for the community to pay for this fraud. And this fraud, it was made possible because there are many things that are wrong. This case revealed a lot of flaws. At the level of the certifications, at the level of the declarations of undesirable events with the health authorities, the reactivity of these same health authorities, the responsiveness of the policies, the lobby of the cosmetic surgeons, the lobby of the laboratories which manufacture the prostheses.

It will be necessary to wait until 2010 for the French Agency of health security of the health products (Afssaps) to sound the alarm of what it reveals to be a major health scandal


The PIP company was priced at the market, contrary to what some media said, like the other manufacturers of prostheses. She won the tender for the Center for the Fight against Cancer because it was the only ones to offer anatomic prostheses, ie right and left breasts very useful in reconstruction.

When the case broke out, the women who had plastic surgery came back to see their surgeon, they were told: “It will be very difficult for you to reoperate because if the silicone has sank, it will take us time, it’s long and expensive, it’s not fair we remove and we give other prostheses etc. .. “So there was a very large fee overruns and the change of prosthesis cost more expensive than the initial implantation, while explantation was supported by social security!

Women who have had breast cancer have not all been treated the same way. There were anti-cancer centers that did not take women in charge “internally” and demanded fee overruns by referring them to private clinics.

There are so many things that come into play that nothing moves! Six years later, we are at the same stage. A new Mas could very well happen in any medical device market and do the same thing again. “

Insulted and dirty victims

“Among the victims, there are very few women who have remained combative. They are tired. All those who have done plastic surgery have been singled out, stigmatized, insulted, dirty. It was said that they were “crazy blondes” who wanted to make big breasts and that it was well done for them. Now, many of these women were in their fifties, they had children and they could not find their breasts before,

The products used in the breast implant (industrial silicone oil (a fuel additive) and electrical cable embedding agents gnawed the silicone envelope of the prostheses.

(France2 screen capture)

Before breastfeeding, pregnancy, etc.

They had made a small gift and said, “I’m going to find a woman’s body”. That’s all. It was not to have big boobs!

These women were, at first, fighters, well, today they are hiding. They do not want to talk anymore, despite their suffering and all that they have paid.

All the women who had breast cancer and who went through the reconstruction had to be operated again because of these prostheses, they had already endured enough with their treatment. Women who have been “rebuilt” and who have put back prostheses are anxious. For some, the disease has recurred. They ask themselves: “Is not it because of the prosthesis? “

This product has not been tested to be introduced into a human body, no scientist can tell us what the long-term consequences will be on our organisms. And no one can reassure us about it. “

Where are the 12,000 women carrying these prostheses?

“It has been estimated that there are 30,000 women in France potentially carrying these prostheses, and today there are 18,000 who have been explanted. Where are the other 12,000? Have not they been prevented? Do they know what they are wearing? Have they turned the page and they do not want to know? Where was their operation not reported? Or was there an error on the estimate? We do not know. No register exists to identify the implant carriers, we are still waiting for its creation.

And in the world, we know even less because, for example in Latin America where cosmetic surgery is widespread, it is difficult to know how many women are concerned. We have given figures that range from 300,000 to 500,000 worldwide. This is a huge range! “

Dr. Richard Abs, plastic surgeon in Marseille. He is one of the first doctors to alert the government about the dangers of PIP prostheses.

(screenshot Cash Investigation-France 2) »The media hurt us a lot»

“The media, unfortunately, stigmatized the fact that 80% of the victims were women who had used cosmetic surgery. In the public, this is what has been retained. There were insults, unspeakable things on the forums, comments on news articles.

The window of the PIP company in La Seyne-sur-Mer


A real fight has been waged against these women while everyone is free to do what he wants with his body. We do not have to judge why women did it. This is their intimate problem. And they have paid for the implementation of certified products.

We did not mention the REAL problems, which is that this fraud lasted 10 years, in a country like ours, France, with products that were manufactured on our territory, by a French company, by French employees who all knew they were cheating. It shocked no one and no one asked how it had been possible, or tried to dismantle all the machinery that allowed this fraud to take place and could last 10 years. This is outrageous. “

No compensation fund for this scandal

“No minister has ever received a victims’ advocacy association. The lawyers, who were asking for a compensation fund, were never received either. This is the only health scandal in France that has no compensation fund.

The only country where everything went very well for women is Switzerland. They had, I believe, 280 victims. They were all taken care of and operated quickly and we heard more about it. In Britain and Latin America, women were warned two years after the scandal! And they are absolutely not medically supported by their health system.

Assess the moral, physical, sexual and professional harm

“There are days when I say” what’s the point? And others where I receive messages from women who are in such a state of weariness and suffering. There are women who have lost everything: their company, their spouse … More than fifty years old, some have returned with their children to their parents. They lost their box, their job. They have nothing financially speaking, but also socially and, above all, more health … There is also

Regarding the assumption of responsibility for the operations, the Health Insurance finally committed itself to take care of all the costs of the operations of withdrawal of the preventive and curative PIP implants, as well as the possible new breast implant if the initial pose had has been taken over by the Health Insurance (reconstructive surgery). If the initial pose was not supported by the Health Insurance (cosmetic surgery), it nevertheless undertakes to cover the costs of preventive or curative withdrawal, but not the installation of a new implant.

(screenshot Cash Investigation France2)

Importers of prostheses who have been abused in their countries because it was felt they were responsible for importing that. Some feel responsible and do not live anymore.

I was appraised in the next trial which I hope will one day be held for “unintentional injuries”. We examine the moral, physical, sexual, professional and financial harm. We put numbers on it. Whatever sums we are allocated, we will not get them. We know it. Because the people in charge of the case are not solvent and that they will not be able to compensate 300 000 or 500 000 women in the world. In any case, it will never bring us back to health.

I would like the policies to be a little more courageous, to have at least a moratorium on breast prostheses, to make a serious study comparing all the women who have worn PIP prostheses, those who have other brands and those that have not worn any at all. This is the only credible way to demonstrate the effects of PIP prostheses in particular and prostheses in general on our organisms. If we want to do it, we can do it … “

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