The news is from Venezuela. After Venezuela having 63% inflation in an year and shortages of food, toilet paper, and even newsprint it seems the latest shortage is one of breast implants.
Venezuelans once had easy access to implants approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But doctors say they are now all-but impossible to find because restrictive currency controls have deprived local businesses of the cash to import foreign goods. It may not be the gravest shortfall facing the socialist South American country, but surgeons say the issue cuts to the psyche of the image-conscious Venezuelan woman.
“The women are complaining,” said Ramon Zapata, president of the Society of Plastic Surgeons. “Venezuelan women are very concerned with their self-esteem.”
Venezuela is thought to have one of the world’s highest plastic surgery rates, and the breast implant is the seminal procedure. Doctors performed 85,000 implants here last year, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Only the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and Germany — all with significantly larger populations — saw more procedures.
It’s not just women looking for a more attention-getting silhouette who are struggling; some patients are in urgent medical need. Lisette Arroyo, 46, waited two months this summer to get her ruptured implants replaced, dealing with intense itching while waiting for new devices to arrive from France. She had to buy them directly from the manufacturer before they could be shipped, spending the entire $300 in foreign currency the government permits Venezuelans annually. The surgery can cost another $800.
“This country is not what it used to be,” she said earlier this month as awaited surgery in a blue paper gown.
Of course. Who decided to go for breast implants in the first place?
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Isnt’ that going a bit overboard!