D- Cup Desperation: Breast Implants Shortage Makes Venezuelian Women Go For Wrong Size Boob-Jobs

Beauty-obsessed Venezuelans face a scarcity of quality breast implants, and women are so desperate doctors are turning to devices that are the wrong size or made in China, with less rigorous quality standards.

Implants approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration used to be readily available in Venezuela but doctors say they are near impossible to find because restrictive currency controls mean local businesses can’t afford to import foreign goods.

Some women are so desperate they have turned to the Venezuelan equivalent of the bartering website Craigslist. There sellers post pictures of black market implants of unknown origin sitting in sealed packages on kitchen tables, complete with stories of spouses who changed their minds and reassurances that the pouches remain sterile.

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.

Ramon Zapata, president of the Society of Plastic Surgeons, said Venezuelan women ‘are very concerned with their self-esteem’ and are complaining about the shortage.

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 there last year, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Only the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and Germany – all with significantly larger populations – performed more procedures.

Until recently, women in Venezuela could enter raffles for implants held by pharmacies, workplaces and even politicians on the campaign trail.

During this spring’s anti-government street demonstrations, signs protesting the rising price of breast implants mixed in with posters railing against food shortages and currency devaluation.

Surgeon Daniel Slobodianik said: ‘It’s a culture of ”I want to be more beautiful than you”, that’s why even people who live in the slums get implants.’

Mr Slobodianik used to perform several breast implants each week, but now performs closer to two a month, despite women calling his office every day seeking inquiring about available cup sizes.

Despite the frustration, the image conscious women aren’t getting much sympathy in their homeland, with social media users saying the panic shows the real shortage in the country is values.

Others joke that the scarcity will force Venezuelan women to start developing their personalities,

In the absence of U.S. brands, China is cashing in on the shortage with implant that are worth about a third of the $600 price tag of those approved by European regulators.

Mr Slobodianik said the cheaper implants came with heightened risks:  ‘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.’ Courtesy: Steve Hopkins, MailOnline.

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