This content is also available in: Vietnamese

By: Bao Bao

Women and men of all ages around the world are concerned about their appearance. Good looks have even become a requirement in some professions.

Thanks to these demands, the number of beauty salons and cosmetic hospitals in Vietnam has mushroomed (albeit in silence). Cosmetic surgery is among one of the country’s top contemporary trends.

Despite getting off to a slower start than its neighbors, Vietnam has made significant progress with advanced technologies in cosmetic surgery.

Beauty salons are in most of the country’s major metropolises, including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Haiphong and Danang. The number of licensed beauty salons is now in the hundreds. An exchange of information among local businesses coupled with self-education has enabled various cosmetic surgeons in Vietnam to master advanced techniques.

Scientific studies show that the success and failure rates of cosmetic surgery in Vietnam is on par with other countries around the world. Careful and accurate selection of a beauty salon that is responsible for cosmetic changes to the human body is of great importance. In Vietnam, there have been some mournful cases in which victims were decoyed to shady salons, resulting in costly failure and accidents. These cases triggered a massive public backlash. Extra care towards seeking and selecting a prestigious. qualified beauty salon is now the priority of clients who want to upgrade their looks. Cosmetic surgery hospitals must be accredited and certified by the Ministry of Health. Cosmetic surgeons are also required to undergo official, specialised training courses. Formal cosmetic surgery units owned by public medical institutions have also been launched at Cho Ray Hospital or the HCMC Medical and Pharmaceutical University. In addition, the market has witnessed a rampant introduction of cosmetic surgery and beauty departments in hospitals such as Trung Vuong, Binh Dan, An Sinh and Nguyen Tri Phuong. Other specialised cosmetic hospitals include Saigon Hospital and Thanh Van Hospital and procedures also take place at daytime hospitals such as Van Lang, Viet My and A Au. Today there are approximately 80 licensed beauty salons and cosmetic surgery units in operation in Ho Chi Minh City. A professional society for cosmetic surgeons has also been established, “the HCMC Cosmetic Surgery Society.” It was followed by the HCMC Plastic Surgery Society and Hanoi Plastic Surgery Society. Well-advised and professional, these units offer beauty and cosmetic services that are undertaken by doctors and experts mainly from Korea and Singapore, as well as top domestic experts.

Depending on the difficulty of each surgery, as well as the technologies and expertise of the surgeon, the cost for a surgery may vary. Eye surgeries range from VND 12 to 30 million, while nose surgeries cost VND 15 to 70 million. Skin tightening, lipo suction, dental and orthognathic restorative surgeries will range from VND 25 to 90 million. On average, cosmetic surgery costs in Vietnam are half the price of those in Korea, not to mention other arising accommodation and travelling expenses.

Different age ranges have  different beauty demands. Young women focus on the nose  to achieve a S-line curve. They also want a harmonious eye-nose-mouth symmetry, smiley eyes and  sexy lips. Women from 34 to 40 have a predilection for skin rejuvenation, orthognathic surgery or lipo suction. Men tend to be fond of corrective surgeries that produce a natural, V-line face and body.

Despite heated arguments on the Internet over “natural beauty” vs. “artificial beauty,” as well as the overall safety of surgeries, it’s undeniable that a wave of cosmetic surgeries has triggered a new beauty trend in Vietnam. One can easily observe this trend among urban young people who are high or upper middle income earners, women of 34-40, and those who work in art and entertainment. Young celebrities such as Nha Phuong, Ky Han, Khac Tiep, Luu Huong Giang and Huong Tram are pioneers leading this trend.  Some women  explain their fondness for cosmetic surgery by saying “I would rather be artificially beautiful than naturally ugly.” A case in point is singer Thuy Tien, the wife of Vietnam’s top footballer Cong Vinh. As this singer becomes more famous she is prompting other people to follow suit.

A yearning for beauty in the heart of each Vietnamese resonates with modern lifestyles and profound cultural integration. With the influence of beauty powerhouse Korea, the rising tide of cosmetic surgery in Vietnam will be warmly embraced by the public. Vietnamese people will have greater opportunities to select for themselves suitable restorative and corrective services.

Countries around the world have also tapped into the ever growing cosmetic surgery fever. Among the top 10 are South Korea, Greece, Thailand and Canada. There are 2.1 million cosmetic surgeries being done yearly in this country. Breast lift operations count for 24 per cent of these procedures.

Beauty is an innermost desire for both sexes. Self-care, sustainable beauty therapies and physical exercise all work together to make us look and feel our best.