Patients who have ruptured implants, capsular contracture, infection and unhappiness with the shape of the breast and feel they wish to have them removed.

Access to the implant is made through the same incision, the implant is removed with a capsule of scar tissue that covers it (Total Capsulectomy). In some instances it is not possible to remove all the capsule around the implant (Partial Capsulectomy). A drain is placed to prevent seroma formation and the wound is closed in layers. The procedure will take about one hour to perform. It is performed as a day case procedure, so you will be able to return home on the same day, once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.

PIP breast implants were withdrawn from the UK in 2010 after it was found they had been fraudulently manufactured with unapproved silicone gel, and were far more prone to splitting (rupturing) than other breast implants.

Research hasn't found any evidence to suggest that PIP implants pose a serious health risk, but they can cause unpleasant symptoms if they rupture and you may be anxious about leaving them in. If you have PIP implants, you should discuss with a surgeon whether they should be taken out.The implants don't necessarily need to be removed, but they should be taken out if they rupture or you're worried about this happening.

Some private clinics have agreed to remove and replace PIP breast implants free of charge, while others charge a fee. If the clinic where you had your implants fitted won't help you because it has closed or is unwilling to do so, you may be able to have your implants removed free of charge on the NHS.

However, the NHS in England won't provide replacement implants if your original implants were fitted privately, except in a very small number of cases where they were fitted for medical, rather than cosmetic, reasons.

If you had PIP breast implants originally fitted on the NHS, you may be able to have them removed and replaced by the NHS at no cost.

The operation to remove and replace PIP implants is done wherever possible through the original surgical cuts.

• Infection
• Haematoma - return to theatre for bleeding
• Delayed healing
• Deflated breast requiring a breast lift
• Seroma
• Asymmetry