Why Are Women in Venezuela Freaking Out About The Breast Implant Shortage?

Why Are Women in Venezuela Freaking Out About The Breast Cancer Shortage?
Corbis

No toilet paper, no sugar, no milk... no breast implants?

In a country troubled by chronic food shortages, Venezuela's citizens are instead reeling over another threat: the lack of available breast implants. 

"Venezuelans once had easy access to implants approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," the Associated Press wrote in an in-depth piece about the issue. "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 South American country," the AP continued. "But surgeons say the issue cuts to the psyche of the image-conscious Venezuelan woman."

Venezuela has one of the world's highest plastic surgery rates, and breast implants rank among the most popular procedures in the country. Last year, doctors performed 85,000 implants in the country — a number only surpassed by the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Germany. All four countries have significantly higher populations than Venezuela. 

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