This is a long-winded ‘Two thumbs up’ recommendation of Gail Hamilton’s book, ‘Breast Implants and the D.I.R.T. Committee’. If you don’t want to read my entire comment you can stop here with me saying I can’t recommend Gail’s book highly enough. 🤗👏
The longer version ..
When I found out my Dow Corning silicone gel implants had failed doctors insisted mine were the ‘old ones’ and the ‘new ones’ didn’t have the issues mine did.
The fact is, that for every generation that came before my implants, as each one failed, women were told the exact same thing.
Actual catalogue sales pitch for the implants I had:
The SILASTIC II Mammary Implant. High Performance, in a direct comparison with current competitive ‘low bleed’ products. Superior Low Bleed characteristics and Greatly Enhanced Physical Properties.
Independent testing to be the Superior Implant in the marketplace today! SILASTIC II Mammary Implant, High Performance, represents years of research by Dow Corning, the recognized leader in silicone technology, to produce a ‘State of the Art’ mammary implant. The SILASTIC II Mammary Implant, High Performance, is the best product to meet today’s needs!
* Superior Low Bleed Characteristics
* Greatly Enhanced Physical Properties
* Available only from Dow Corning Wright
* High Performance Medical Grade Silicone Elastomer is available only from Dow Corning Wright.
SILASTIC II implants became the object of an international recall on September 13, 1991. In a class action lawsuit it was revealed that Dow Corning had falsified key fabrication data concerning these implants.
Fast forward to when doctors were dismissing my implants as the ‘old ones’ .. the ‘new ones’ were already failing just as catastrophically.
The ‘new’ allegedly ‘safe’ implants are actually based on the same 60-70 year old technology as the ‘old’ implants, but some features and the sales pitches have been tweaked. The new tweaks often made the ‘new’ devices even more dangerous than their predecessors. Case in point, BIA-ALCL.
Already, since textured implants have been implicated with BIA-ALCL and Allergan Biocell textured implants have been recalled, new generations of implants with tweaks and new sales pitches are being approved by FDA and implanted in human guinea pigs.
If you’ll pardon my expression, it’s the ‘same shite, different pile’. Same continued experiment since the 60’s, same greed/profit driven ambitions driving the industry. Same ‘hands in pockets’ practices with surgeons, researchers and regulators.
In the Dow days, with the class action lawsuit that resulted in Dow Corning claiming bankruptcy, the women harmed by their implants were largely failed in the Dow settlement (there were other manufacturers involved as well). You can be sure lawyers were paid in spades.
Leaping forward to the present time, there are new lawsuits for other implants. It would be a mistake for contemporary claimants not to learn from the failures and oversights of the Dow class action.
Where I’m going with this ..
Gail Hamilton wrote ‘Breast Implants and the D.I.R.T. Committee’ offering insight into the deep corruption that was the breast implant industry, a parallel that continues to present day. Gail’s book is a ‘must have’ for every library, IMHO. Every time I read her book I marvel at how Gail was able to so brilliantly tie together details of industry corruption, cover-up, and her own personal experience with having Dow Corning silicone breast implants that left her desperately ill. The pages of my personal copy of the book are heavily ‘highlighted’ with different colours, flagging sentences or paragraphs that I want to be able to find easily again. Page after page. Jaw-dropping, staggering. I was angry. I was sad. I was enlightened. I am in awe of Gail’s ability to be researcher, truth teller and story teller (her own story). I highly recommend this book!
Though Breast Implants and the D.I.R.T. Committee is from the 90’s it’s still so relevant today. It’s hard to truly understand the current landscape of the industry without the benefit of this book.