Free Plastic Surgery For the Poor… In Rio de Janeiro

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Beauty may not be a superficial thing any longer, there is a psychological side. Just ask famous Brazilian Plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy.

“Nicknamed the “philosopher of plastic surgery” for his intellectual and psychoanalytical take on the vocation, 85-year-old Pitanguy is largely responsible for Brazil’s reputation as a world leader in the field and a top destination for cosmetic surgery tourism.”

But this man isn’t just another talented surgeon who makes bank by making the rich more beautiful, he also believes in doing the same for the poor.

“More than half a century ago, he founded a surgical wing to help treat the poor. While the wing at the Santa Casa de Misericordia hospital in Rio focuses on reconstructive operations for burn victims and people with serious deformations, it also provides discounted cosmetic procedures.” 

Hell yeah, it isn’t just the rich who feel the pressure to look good in a bikini!  Everyone has physical insecurities and they really can eat at you. Ivo Pitanguy used his name, and experience with the rich and famous, to extend the luxury of plastic surgery to those who would otherwise only fantasize about it.

Now there are 12 hospitals, mostly public, who offer discounted or free plastic surgery to those considered to be low income.

Let’s be honest, people judge people on their looks. Pretty people have an edge, it is a sad and very real part of our society. And each of us, well those without the money to change it, have something they would change about themselves.

Personally, I would get implants. It wouldn’t be anything big, just enough so I don’t look like I have symmetrical mosquito bites with slight swelling. After breastfeeding two kids they look like sad mosquito bites with asymmetrical swelling. Sure I should just accept my body for the way it is, and I do… mostly because I don’t have the cash to change it.

As an unnamed doctor jokingly said:

“What is the difference between a plastic surgeon and a psychoanalyst?  The psychoanalyst knows everything but changes nothing.  The plastic surgeon knows nothing but changes everything.”

I understand the joke and yet I accept the truth behind it.

It is amazing what a little makeover can do for the self-esteem. It is truly amazing what a little boost in self-esteem can do for your life.

And before you say that Brazilian public healthcare shouldn’t be wasting it’s limited time and money on plastics, realize that they don’t do it all the time. There is a long waiting list and they only offer it certain times a year. There is a huge screening process and people try over and over again.

Brazil’s public hospital issues have nothing to do with a few free cosmetic surgeries. It has everything to do with a lack of funding. If every public official, including Ms President Dilma, was required to use the public system, the system would start to work.

What do you think about the Brazilian government giving out free/discounted plastic surgery to low income patients?


For more on the subject:

A ‘Necessary Vanity”

Brazil’s Poor Get Free Beauty Treatments

6 thoughts on “Free Plastic Surgery For the Poor… In Rio de Janeiro

  1. I know that Ivo Pitaguy was also doing free surgeries for some of us here in Rocinha. I have a friend who was born with “cleft lip” (I think this is what it is called.). Pitanguy helped this boy and now his confidence is great..he is now 18 and has created his own website

  2. For me, cosmetic plastic surgery is just too “Sneeches”. Stars on Thars. Other than as a means of correcting disfigurement at birth, such as Zezinho mentioned, or caused by accidents, the public hospitals should first be required to meet higher standards of providing basic and safe health care and emergency treatment. Many have yet to accomplish even that. Pitanguy is a legend, and deservedly so. I respect his charity and his very obvious skills. However, there are very few surgeons with his skills. My question is, would anyone really want cosmetic plastic surgery in a public hospital? Is the risk really worth it? There was a recent case in the O Globo of a woman who died following, I believe, breast augmentation surgery. That seems like a pretty high price to pay for free cosmetic surgery.

  3. Brazilian women do NOT need cosmetic surgery. The only reason they think they need it is because they want to be the same appearance as American “women” due to the media. DON’T DO IT. Enjoy your exotic look and work it!

  4. Those plastic surgeries are for people who were born/got desfigured by accidents or illness (breast cancer, etc). They also do gender reassignment surgery!

  5. lastic surgery is always a growing trend even though there are studies that says that it is plateauing or declining. Even if that is the case, in the future, more people will try it, most especially the non-invasive kind because almost anyone can afford it already.^^`.

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