What Is The Cost Of Beauty In Vietnam?
An increasing number of people are patronising beauty clinics in Vietnam for cosmetic surgery over the last few years.
Local media has reported a boom in the number of beauty clinics and a new generation of body-conscious and wealthy people who turn to these clinics for help.
About a decade ago, South Korea emerged as the top destination for beauty-obsessed Vietnamese, followed by Thailand.
But things changed dramatically when a large number of beauty clinics were set up in Vietnam several years ago. They sent their practitioners to South Korea for training and technology transfer, and started luring customers by marketing the qualifications of these doctors.
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As a result, more Vietnamese people have started flocking to local clinics to alter their appearance.
With an improvement in the quality and skills of local cosmetic surgeons, the popularity of these clinics has been increasing. Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) and customers from other Southeast Asian countries have also started coming to Vietnam for simple procedures such as nose jobs, liposuction and filler treatments.
The index was compiled based on average retail costs (including tax) of 16 different services, cosmetic procedures and products in the beauty industry across 50 countries.
The report said a nose job for under US$1,000 and a US$2,000 breast augmentation have made Vietnam become the world's most affordable destination for beauty services. Meanwhile, a makeover in Switzerland and the U.S. could cost you a fortune.
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Vietnam clinched the most-affordable spot in the gauge even as retail prices rose from 2016. India, South Africa, Thailand and Egypt rounded out the top five cheapest cosmetic enhancement destinations.
Cosmetic surgery in Vietnam may be cheaper than other countries, but there are also risks involved.
There have been several fatal incidents involving cosmetic surgeries, with the most high-profile case involving a doctor who dumped the body of a patient into a river following a botched operation four years ago.
The 37-year-old woman died of anaphylactic shock in October 2013 after undergoing liposuction and a breast augmentation operation at the private Cat Tuong Clinic in Hanoi, despite efforts by the centre's staff to revive her.
Nguyen Manh Tuong, the surgeon, dumped her body in the river with the help of a clinic security guard. One year later, he was sentenced to 19 years in jail.
Tuong worked at the well-respected state-run Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi and also ran the Cat Tuong Clinic.
The clinic had a business license but lacked a permit to carry out cosmetic surgery. It has since been shut down.
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Edward Hartley, 53, was at the clinic on Su Van Hanh Street in District 10 to have some loose skin removed from around his hip.
Fifteen minutes after being sedated, he had an alleged heart attack caused by anaphylactic shock.
The surgeon tried to resuscitate the man and called doctors at Trung Vuong Hospital for help, but they were unable to save him and Hartley died 20 minutes later.
Inspectors then found that the clinic was not licensed to perform skin removal.
Vietnam's health sector has been plagued with regulation issues and this is also evident with some doctors at state-run hospitals moonlighting by running unlicensed private clinics or by offering treatment from their homes.
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