Plastic Surgery Boom in a South American Economy

venezuela plastic surgery | memphis plastic surgery | plastic surgery group of memphisDisclaimer: This article describes discounted plastic surgery procedures in the southern Venezuelan city of Puerto Ordaz. We are in no way recommending that our readers travel there. Please see our previous blog post, “Medical Tourist Trap,” to learn more about the risks of traveling abroad to receive plastic surgery.

Seeking Plastic Surgery in Puerto Ordaz


The mismanagement of the Venezuelan economy by its socialist government has led to 200% inflation, widespread shortages of consumer goods and medicines, and a black market for the Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar, where a dollar buys 130 times the official exchange rate. Out of this economic darkness has emerged one shining sector: cosmetic plastic surgery. In Puerto Ordaz, the country’s now decrepit former industrial capital located 500 miles from the Brazilian border, lower middle class women from Venezuela’s southern neighbor are finding that their Reals (the Brazilian currency) buy a lot of plastic surgery.

Hundreds of women are making the trek, braving 16 military checkpoints while hiding their hard cash in oversized bras. Once in Puerto Ordaz they undergo breast augmentation, liposuction, and Brazilian butt lifts (referred to in Venezuela as “Boom-Booms”) for the equivalent of a mere $1800 in total. On the way home, their newly augmented breasts fill out their bra cups where they had formerly stashed their cash.

Plastic Surgery Boom in the Local Economy


The popularity of the cross-border plastic surgery has given a boost to the depressed local economy. An engineer in the state-owned steel plant supplements her $40 per month salary with an additional $18 dollars a day providing post-operative care to the Brazilian women. The plastic surgeons offer their patients transportations, nurses, hairdressers, and shopping therapy during the convalescent period. Portuguese speaking staff has been hired as well as security guards since Venezuela has one of the world’s highest crime rates. The Brazilian women are warned not to speak Portuguese in public, wear jewelry, nor openly carry cellphones.

Whereas the Brazilians making the trip to Venezuela where initially housekeepers, kitchen maids, and shop assistants living in rural towns, they are now being followed by their employers from the larger Brazilian city of Manaus. The middle class women are sensing competition from their newly enhanced and reshaped employees. How long the boom in plastic surgery will last is not known as the opposition just gained control of Venezuela’s Congress and promised to reverse the socialist policies that have stifled the country’s economy.

Plastic Surgery in Memphis


We tell intriguing news stories like this one on our blog to provide context for our discussions of the plastic surgery industry. Luckily though, we live in a place where no borders have to be crossed for plastic surgery. If you’re interested in a cosmetic procedure and want to find out if it’s the right one for you, please contact our Memphis plastic surgery team to set up a consultation. We’re just around the corner and only a phone call away!