Babes in Arms in Venezuela?
“It’s like a snowball,” said Sousa, who has been receiving dozens of patients every day since the news broke that French authorities recommended the implants be removed.
The scandal has hit beauty-obsessed Venezuela particularly hard. An estimated 16,000 Venezuelans have the implants, one of the highest figures among Latin American countries, along with much-larger Brazil, where about 20,000 women have PIP-made implants.
Breast enlargement surgery is common in Venezuela and has grown in popularity in recent years among middle-class women, thanks in part to low-interest loans offered by private clinics for the operations.
The PIP brand was used frequently until the implants were pulled from the market in 2010.
Like many of those affected in Venezuela, Sania Arroyo has struggled with the mounting medical bills. The 33-year-old bank employee and single mother managed to save about 20,000 bolivars, or $4,600, for surgery to replace the implants in January, scraping together nearly four times what she paid to have them inserted in 2007.