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Vietnam: Cosmetic Surgery Grows in Popularity

Vietnam: Cosmetic Surgery Grows in Popularity

Friday June 15, 2012

Cosmetic surgery in Vietnam, in Ho Chi Minh City in particular, has been booming in recent years thanks to the increasing demand of local women who wish to improve their appearance.

This trend is because people not only want to feel good inside, they also want to look good outside. To enhance their looks, persona, sensuality and physical appeal, some ignore exercise and nutrition and turn to cosmetic surgery in an attempt to defy both the calendar and genetics.

Most of clients who turn towards the beauty service are younger women from the ages of 20-35. In the southern Ho Chi Minh City alone, around 100,000 clients use these services each year, according to professor Le Hanh -- chief of the aesthetics surgery department of Cho Ray Hospital in the city.

Breast enlargement, face lifts, nose lifts, and liposuction are the most favored services for female clients, he added.

To look like an idol

Besides wishing to ‘upgrade’ or ‘correct’ congenital defects on the face or body, some choose cosmetic surgery in the hope of looking like their idols. Doctor Tran Thiet Son from the aesthetic department of Saint Paul Hospital in Hanoi, said he remembers a nice-looking 25 year old client.

“She brought with her a photo of Korean cinema star Kim Tae Hee and told him to correct four points on her face, including her eyes and nose to make her look as much like the star as possible.

“I tried to convince her that she looked good and that it would be difficult to make her look like someone else through surgery. But she rejected my words and insisted on an operation,” recalled Son.

Around 30 percent of the clients at Saint Paul Hospital brought a photo with them and demanded a surgery to help them look like the figures.

“Recently, many people have been willing to go through aesthetic surgery looking for a transformation to heighten their sense of self-esteem and confidence. Some opted for 5-6 surgeries,” Son added.

The prices

Prices differ from surgeon to surgeon, and usually they opt not to announce the real prices of their surgeries for the senses of taxation and respect.

On average, a breast enlargement carried out by a well known surgeon costs US$3,000. On a weekend day, a surgeon can undertake four to five surgeries at their own beauty salons.

An eye surgery or a nose-job each cost VND5-10 million ($240-480), but a nose-job to make it in the shape of Korean’s is at least three times more than that, from VND25-30 million ($1,200 – 1,500). Liposuction is VND50-60 million ($2,400 – 2,900), and $3,000 for bottom surgery, and VND30-40 million ($1,500 – 1,900) for a facelift.

A dimple costs VND3-5 million ($ 140 - 240) and chin surgery is from $240-480.

It is estimated that Ho Chi Minh City now has hundreds of beauty salons, with only few holding cosmetic surgery licenses while most of the remainder are authorized for skin care and consultation only.

Clients coming to unauthorized beauty salons usually have the opportunity to talk with beauty staff, but not surgeons. At an authentic beauty salon, clients always consult with a doctor, and are given as much information about the surgery as possible, weighing risks and complications before making a decision, a surgeon said.

Some beauty salons even have boastful advertisements, such as “We ensure we will create best form of nose. Wherever you are operated on in HCMC, you will finally come here to correct it for the best.”

In fact, no surgeon can assure 100 percent success in a surgery.

Now, many people in Vietnam are still willing to risk own lives to ‘upgrade’ their appearance by resorting to silicone while the substance is banned in many developed nations.

With the economic growth of the nation and the increase in income per capita in the last two decades, cosmetic surgery has made a strong return to the nation, especially after the year 2000. Before 1975, Vietnam had many surgeons who were well known in the region.

In the world, the US stands as the nation with highest demand for cosmetic surgery. A report in 2010 stated that there were over 3.3 million aesthetic surgeries in the US. South Korea holds second place with 360,000 cases.

Greece, Italy, Brazil, Colombia and Taiwan follow on the list.

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Tags: facelift, plastic surgeons, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, breast enlargement, nose lift, liposuction, cosmetic surgery

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