chapter  2
22 Pages

Stories of Implants and Illness: Loss and Confusion

From summer of 1991 through spring of 1994, we interviewed 35 women who had undergone the breast implant procedure. Twenty of those had sought medical help based on their perception that the implants had caused them health problems. We found those women through the cooperation of local Tampa Bay plastic surgeons and the University of South Florida rheumatology clinic. Interviews with 15 women who were happy with their implants were obtained through the cooperation of local plastic surgeons, volunteers who attended lectures in which initial results of our study were presented, and by word of mouth from women we had interviewed or who had heard about our work. We met with the women in their homes, in plastic surgeons' offices, in a laboratory room of the University rheumatology clinic, in the courtyard of a local hospital, and by the swimming pool of a suburban Holiday Inn. Conversations lasted from 30 minutes to 2 hours and were tape recorded and transcribed.