Sorry, ladies, but we blame communism. Maybe if enough of you speak up you could help fix the shithole country you’re living in.
Venezuela’s chronic shortages have begun to encroach on a cultural cornerstone: the boob job.
Beauty-obsessed Venezuelans face a scarcity of brand-name breast implants, and women are so desperate that they and their doctors are turning to devices that are the wrong size or made in China, with less rigorous quality standards.
Venezuelans once had easy access to implants approved by the US 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.”
Things will only get worse considering where they’re tuning to for the new boobies.
In the absence of US brands, plastic surgery has become an area dominated by Venezuela’s chief trading partner, China, whose goods are often given priority for import over those from other countries. They’re also a lot cheaper. While a pair of implants approved by European regulators can cost as much as $600 — about the same as the annual minimum wage here — the Chinese equivalent goes for a third of that. Some Venezuelan doctors refuse to use the Chinese devices, which are not subjected to random government inspections or clinical studies.
“I’m not saying they’re not safe, but I’ve removed more than a few ruptured Chinese implants. I just don’t feel comfortable with them,” Slobodianik said.