A GWENT woman spoke of the misery she says was caused by her breast implants rupturing.
Fitness instructor Kim Brockhurst, 51, of Railway Terrace, Blaina, had Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) breast implants in 2004 with a cosmetic surgery group in London at a cost of £3,800 but within the year she felt that something wasn't quite right.
She said: "I went from a 32 AA to a 34DD, I had only wanted a D cup but the surgeon felt that there was too much skin. Within a year of the surgery the skin on my left breast was rippled and went quite a funny shape.
"The surgeon said the difference in shape could be caused by weight loss.
"I was told initially before the surgery to have silicone instead of saline as it would be much safer, as saline is more likely to leak into your body."
Mrs Brockhurst went to her local GP two years ago as lumps had formed on her nipple.
She said: "I didn't know my implants were from the French company until I wrote to the surgery where I received them.
"I then had an NHS scan which showed more lumps and confirmed that my left breast had ruptured. My left nipple had dropped down about two inches, bras were a nightmare. It was quite noticeable as I am a leisure instructor wearing sports bras and teaching all day."
She is now suing TUV Rheinland, a German statutory body which awarded EU safety certificates to Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) the French implant manufacturer whose silicone implants were banned in 2010 after they were found to contain industrial grade silicone. Around 300,000 women in 65 countries are believed to have received PIP implants.
The NHS will remove implants but will not reconstruct them.
The Fitsteps instructor appeared on Channel 5's Botched Bodies in July 2013 who paid for her to have her implants removed eight years after her left breast had ruptured.
She said: "I had the implants as an ego boost after my divorce. The surgeon offered to put bigger ones in after the rupture at a cost of £3,600 but I didn't like the thought of having to have another surgery in 10 years' time.
"It has left a scar on my left boob which is quite a deep scar. I now have three small lumps on my left breast which are silicone lumps."
She added: "It did knock my confidence. Going through something like this changes the way you think about how you should look, it's more important on the way you feel. I would absolutely try and put anyone off who is thinking of having surgery, don't do it. There are other ways to feel good without surgery.
"I think there is an added pressure on those in the fitness industry to look healthy and fit. I know a lot of instructors who have had Botox and implants."
The Argus contacted TUV Rheinland for comment yesterday, but did not received a response.
However, last year, TUV Rheinland won two court cases in connection with the PIP case: In April, The District Court Nuremberg-Fürth rejected a woman's claim for damages against the body. The grounds of the District Court Nuremberg-Fürth decision stated that the notified body was neither obliged to investigate specific implants nor to carry out unannounced inspections on site. Such duties – stated the court – do not follow from the statutory regulations.
And in March the District Court Frankenthal decided in another case that the notified body of TUV Rheinland "was obligated neither to carry out unannounced inspections nor to test the specific products".
Then TUV Rheinland issued a statement in April which said: "The court's verdict confirms that TUV Rheinland performed its duties as a notified body responsibly and in compliance with all applicable laws and standards."
In 2013, the UK government has accepted the majority of the recommendations of a review carried out by Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS medical director, following the disclosure that the French firm Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) had been manufacturing implants using industrial grade silicone.
Almost 50,000 women in the UK were affected after it came to light two years ago when doctors found unexpectedly high numbers of women were suffering from ruptured implants.