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As with any desirable item, sometimes the demand can outdo the supply. Venezuelan citizens—specifically women—are now dealing with an unusual kind of drought: brand-name breast implants are harder and harder to come by in this beauty-obsessed nation, and women are going to extremes when they find that the boobs they desire might be on back order.
The issue is with currency controls that restrict local vendors from the funding required to import foreign goods. This means that Venezuelans no longer have access to implants approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As a result, women are purchasing implants that are either the wrong size or produced in foreign countries with less strict controls and standards. Some even turn to the local equivalent of Craiglist to source their goods. These black market implants can cause many complications down the road, with some rupturing and requiring further surgeries.
While it might not be the most concerning consequence of the currency controls, experts say it does speak to the psyche of the local ladies. As Ramon Zapata, president of the Society of Plastic Surgeons, told the Associated Press, "Venezuelan women are very concerned with their self-esteem."
Venezuela has one of the highest plastic surgery rates in the world: the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery estimates that doctors performed 85,000 implant surgeries here last year alone.