Brazil plastic surgeons still busy

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MARCO WERMAN: In the economy, there are always winners and losers. Yes, even now, there are some winners. For example, McDonald's is selling more burger and Wal-Mart is selling more of, well, just about everything. And check this out � there's a sector in Brazil's economy that's shaping up just fine. That's plastic surgery. The BBC's Gary Duffy has the story from Sao Paulo.

GARY DUFFY: In other parts of the world, it seems the crisis has affected demand for plastic surgery. But in Brazil, for the moment at least, little appears to have changed. In a recent 12-month period there were more than 450,000 procedures, while just 116,000 people received treatment for heart problems. One company making breast implants here says sales in January were up 10 percent on the year before. Dr. Jose Tariki, President of the Brazilian Association of Plastic Surgery says the motivation to seek treatment is very strong.

TARIKI: When you have a crisis, it affects everything. Plastic surgery is something that many people think is not really essential, but our experience shows that the concern of a person who asks for plastic surgery comes from a very big sense of psychological dissatisfaction. So I believe there have been times when there was a bigger crisis and people still sought plastic surgery.

DUFFY: At this time of the year, when the Carnival is in full swing, plastic surgeons here also report a significant rise in business. And Dr. Tariki says the hospital where he operates is almost full. However, he concedes that as the crisis continues, it is too early to say whether this very Brazilian passion will start to diminish.

WERMAN: The BBC's Gary Duffy there, in Brazil.