A York mum left in constant agony when her faulty breast implant ruptured has paid £11,000 for private surgery - after facing a year-long wait for NHS treatment.

Beth Hewson, 49, said she endured a horrific “stabbing pain” in her left breast when one of her 25-year-old Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) implants suddenly burst last year.

The French-made products - given to roughly 50,000 British women - were banned in 2010 after they were found to contain cheap non-medical silicon used in mattresses.

They were also found to be prone to splitting, leaving those with ruptures with a raft of worrying and unpleasant symptoms.

The NHS states there is no evidence to suggest that burst PIP breast implants lead to “serious health risks” for those affected.

But Beth felt she had no choice but to opt for private treatment when faced with a lengthy wait for corrective surgery while enduring months of “horrendous pain”.

She said: “It was just like a stabbing pain all the time. It has been awful. I’ve been off work for six months.

“I couldn’t lie on my side. I couldn't bend over. I couldn't lift or take anything off the shelves. It was really debilitating.

The Northern Echo: Beth Hewson. Picture: SWNSBeth Hewson. Picture: SWNS (Image: SWNS)

"I was constantly holding my hand under my boob, just gripping on my rib cage.

“I had to borrow money from family [for the private surgery]… But it’s something I had to do. The risks were too high for me."

Married mum-of-one Beth, from York, said she originally had her PIP implants fitted at a Transform Healthcare clinic in Manchester in around 1999.

When she had the surgery, which set her back around £3,500, she said there was no information about the future risks that the product may pose.

Just over 10 years later, PIP breast implants were withdrawn from sale after investigations revealed their flimsy nature and that they had poor-quality silicone gel.

The company was liquidated in 2010, and its founder Jean-Claude Mas was sentenced to four years in prison for fraud in 2013 and fined €75,000 (£64,290).

But Transform Healthcare refused to take out Beth's implants for free at the time of these revelations, stating expert advice “did not recommend" their routine removal.

The Northern Echo: Beth Hewson. Picture: SWNSBeth Hewson. Picture: SWNS (Image: SWNS)

Beth said: “There was nothing to explain the type of silicon that was inside of them.

“I went back to Transform to see if they would remove them, but they refused. Since then, I was worried about them rupturing.”

Beth sadly found out during a scan that an implant in her left breast had split in September last year after she was left in agonizing pain.

And the health worker then faced the dilemma of borrowing money from her family for private treatment or possibly waiting more than a year for surgery on the NHS.

Beth said: “When I found out I was in an absolute panic.

"I knew there was something not right. In the middle of last year, they did a mammogram, and that’s when they said it had ruptured.

"I’ve been in the most horrendous pain ever since.

“Then they said I needed it removed, but it would take 12 months on the NHS waiting list. Usually, they are dealing with cancer patients first.

“But I did not know when I would be seen, the waiting lists are that long at the moment. It could have been 12 months - but it could be 15 months or two years.

"I could not risk waiting that long.”

The NHS makes it clear on its website that there is no evidence of long-term health risks to those who suffer a ruptured breast implant.

They state: "British and European researchers have so far not found any evidence to suggest that the ingredients in the implants can cause cancer or are toxic."

But Beth still feared the consequences of the non-medical silicon being left in her body for a year or more.

She added: “When I found out it had ruptured and I had this...silicon moving around inside my body, I didn’t know where it was going.”

Beth said she now wants further public inquiries and studies into the possible long-term health effects of PIP silicon on those who have suffered ruptures.

She said: “Somebody has to take accountability.

“There are 45,000 other women still affected by it. A lot of the French women were compensated. But here, it just seems everybody swept it under the carpet.”

A spokesperson for Transform Healthcare, said: “Transform Healthcare followed the independent expert advice to the industry at the time, which did not recommend the routine removal of PIP breast implants.”

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been contacted for comment.