Nip, Tuck & Bend

Of course it’s a well-known fact the most successful cosmetic surgery is carried out in low-oxygen clinics. As you walk into the reception area of any of the myriad clinics on any Main Street in the U.S., Europe or Japan you immediately feel the dry, hydrogen-rich, barometric drop in normal breathing air conditions.

“This is so patients suck in their cheeks in search of oxygen. That’s why they so often come out looking like goldfish,” said Hank Chapstyck, who chairs Victims of Cosmetic Accidental Lapses (VOCAL).

Given these problems, a hotel chain in Bolivia came up with a solution to prevent the goldfish effect while also guaranteeing a 5-star vacation.

Bolivia is a high-altitude place. I mean it’s really high in the sky. La Paz is the highest capital on the planet at an altitude of 16,730 meters– that’s two-thirds the way up Mount Etna.

Once you get to La Paz your body undergoes a period of adjustment to the lower-oxygen air content. After some initial “where’s the air gone?” moments you quickly get used to the hydrogen-rich environment.

“And that’s when the idea struck me,” said Shangriller Express Managing Director Victor Del Mer. The clinic air is just the same as the air you were breathing five minutes before on the street. “Once they get used to the different air they relax, making it much easier for the cosmetic surgeons to work their magic.”

As a result, women (and men) leaving the Shangriller hotel and clinic never have those awful telltale signs of cosmetic surgery.

As the marketing paraphernalia says, “No more walking around like a sexless alien. Say goodbye to goldfish looks. No need to worry about facemelt.”

And now the secret’s out, among those popping into Shangrillers around Bolivia are Hollywood’s finest.

Sandra Bollock, Shawn Connery and Wynona Rider have all had recent nips, tucks and bends.

“Fantashtic,” Connery told BS Travel. “I wash only convinshed onshe I looked in a mirror.”

You need to book a place at any of the four Shangriller clinics well in advance.

“We’re booked through the end of next year,” Del Mer beamed.

And then it was my turn – as any good travel writer knows.

Scared? Me? A veteran of free-fall mountain climbing? No way Jose.

Well, truth is I was extremely nervous about this one. What with my aquiline features, chiseled chin and stunning turquoise eyes, I really didn’t want to be tampered with. But my editor was insistent.

“Listen pal, if you want a writing job, get a nose job.”

So here I am. On the operating table looking up as the scalpel is held by the doctor, while his assistant grips the collagen bag.

I best stop writing now.

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