Five women in Belgium have had potentially faulty breast implants made by French firm PIP removed since the beginning of December, the country's health watchdog said Saturday.
The Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AFMPS) had received the information because a royal decree obliged health professionals to keep it informed of such matters, spokeswoman Ann Eeckhout told AFP.
To date, the agency had been notified of four cases in which implants supplied by the French firm had ruptured, while a fifth woman had asked to have them removed as a precaution, she added.
On December 23, the Belgian authorities advised women fitted with implants from Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) to go for a check-up and have them removed if there was any sign of seepage or rupture.
About a hundred women in Belgium had so far reported problems with PIP implants, Jean-Luc Nizet, president of the Royal Belgian Society for Plastic Surgery, told Saturday's edition of Le Soir newspaper.
About 300,000 women in 65 countries are estimated to have received implants made by PIP, which allegedly used an illegal industrial-grade gel that investigators say has led to abnormally high rates of ruptured implants.
Germany and the Czech Republic advised women Friday to have the PIP implants removed, but Britain said it was not convinced of the need.