Miss World Vietnam 2021 made headlines for allowing women who had undergone plastic surgery to participate in the contest. It was more than a turning point for the country’s pageant community; it was a clear indication that the social acceptance of plastic surgery in Vietnam had reached new heights.
Asian plastic surgery is a booming business. Although it does not have the global name recognition of Korean plastic surgery or the explosive growth of the Chinese plastic surgery industry, Vietnamese plastic surgery is on the rise and poised to continue growing.
What brought Vietnamese plastic surgery to this point, and what are today’s patients looking for? Let’s investigate this burgeoning market.
How Popular Is Cosmetic Surgery in Vietnam?
Cosmetic surgery has grown in Vietnam over the last several decades. This growth coincides with rising incomes in the country and diminished stigma around cosmetic procedures, along with today’s idolisation of celebrities and social media influencers.
To date, most superlatives in this field belong to South Korea (home to the world’s biggest plastic surgery industry) and China (the world’s fastest-growing plastic surgery market). However, statistics indicate that affluent Vietnamese Millennials are embracing surgical and nonsurgical beauty procedures, and the Vietnam cosmetic surgery market is predicted to grow over the next decade.
One reason for this growth is the relative affordability of plastic surgery in Vietnam. Vietnam was named the cheapest country in the world for plastic surgery by the Beauty Price Index in 2018. Experts also cite the increasing availability of well-equipped clinics and technological advancements in noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures as reasons for the industry’s expansion.
What Is the History of Beauty and Plastic Surgery in Vietnam?
Vietnamese beauty ideals evolved significantly over the last 150 years. While the country was under French colonial rule, features such as a high nose bridge were prized. Unblemished, fair skin was, and continues to be, highly valued due to its association with higher socio-economic status.
Western influences continued to pour into Vietnam in the 1950s, when international cinema became popular. Many Vietnamese women took beauty inspiration from the glamorous actresses who graced the screen in Hollywood blockbusters.
Darker aspects of history also played a role. Decades of war left many Vietnamese wounded and scarred, leading to an urgent need for plastic surgeons adept in reconstructive techniques. The American presence in Vietnam created a trend for features like wider eyes and more prominent noses. Abroad, breast augmentation became popular with Vietnamese women who took refuge from the war in western countries.
Since the 1980s, cosmetic enhancements have been more sought after and more socially accepted in Vietnam. This upward trend corresponds to rising economic growth within the country as well as financial support travelling back to the country from Vietnamese people living overseas. In particular, facial cosmetic surgeries, breast implants, abdominoplasty and liposuction were popular amongst Vietnamese women.
What Is the Attitude Towards Plastic Surgery in Vietnam Today?
All around the world, attitudes towards cosmetic surgery are changing. We are seeing increased interest in surgical and nonsurgical procedures as the stigma that once surrounded them fades, as well as more open discussions about cosmetic work by those who have had it.
Many Vietnamese patients turn to plastic surgery hoping to look more like their idols. Inspiration often comes from Korean cinema stars and musicians, or the popular faces found on Instagram, TikTok and national platforms like Weibo and Zalo.
Other plastic surgery patients are driven by the pressures of work and love. Concerns range from being unhirable in a competitive job market to being doomed to singlehood by traditional superstitions.
Today’s Vietnamese plastic surgery patients typically desire minimal downtime and subtle results that leave no obvious signs of surgery. These preferences reflect a culture that has come a long way towards the acceptance of cosmetic procedures but is not yet as accepting as some other Asian nations.
Why Do People Have Vietnamese Plastic Surgery?
Facial plastic surgery tends to be more popular than body-focused procedures amongst Vietnamese patients. Some of the most common concerns include:
- A flat or wide nasal bridge
- Wide nostrils
- A bulbous nasal tip
- A weak jaw and chin (men)
- A bulky or square facial shape (women)
- An overly prominent forehead
- Overly pronounced cheekbones
What Are the Most Popular Vietnamese Plastic Surgery Procedures?
The most popular Vietnamese plastic surgery procedures enhance facial features. Rhinoplasty is a widely requested procedure to define and refine the nose, especially the nasal bridge. Bone recontouring procedures, including cheekbone reduction and V-line surgery, are also commonly desired. Older patients may choose to undergo facelift surgery or facial fat grafting to restore a more youthful appearance.
Double eyelid surgery, which is the number one procedure in China and Japan, is not as widespread amongst Vietnamese patients. This is because it is more common for people of Vietnamese descent to naturally have an upper eyelid crease and a wider eye shape.
What Are the Most Popular Nonsurgical Procedures for Vietnamese Patients?
Owing to a preference for natural results and minimal scarring, nonsurgical procedures are popular with Vietnamese patients. Injectables are especially favoured. Today’s options include anti-wrinkle injections to minimise the appearance of unwanted lines and recontour the face, and dermal fillers to smooth wrinkles, augment the lips, build the nasal bridge and reshape the chin and jawline.
Is It Safe to Get Plastic Surgery in Vietnam?
In every country, there are good medical practitioners and bad medical practitioners, and safe circumstances and unsafe circumstances.
Prospective patients should be aware that plastic surgery in Vietnam is not as regulated as it is here in Australia. There is currently no formal plastic surgery training or credentialing in Vietnam. Rather than specialising in plastic surgery, doctors who perform cosmetic procedures come from a variety of backgrounds, such as general surgery and otolaryngology.
Many Vietnamese doctors travel overseas to train with experienced plastic surgeons, then return home to practise. Plastic surgeons also come from other countries to open clinics in Vietnam.
While there are plenty of qualified and licensed surgeons in Vietnam, patients are advised to do their due diligence and choose wisely. According to local health departments, the soaring demand for cosmetic services has led to thousands of unlicensed practitioners operating across the country.
Request a Consultation for Vietnamese Plastic Surgery in Sydney
For patients who prefer the safety and comfort of staying close to home, Asian Plastic Surgery offers the benefits of Vietnamese plastic surgery without the drawbacks of travelling abroad. Our fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons aim to provide the highest standard of care to Asian patients in Sydney and throughout Australia.
Dr Quan Ngo, who is Specialist Plastic Surgeon of Vietnamese descent, brings an experienced perspective to our Vietnamese patients. His understanding of the unique needs of Vietnamese patients encompasses anatomical characteristics, cultural values and aesthetic preferences.
Dr Ngo focuses on facial bone contouring, such as jaw or cheek reshaping and chin reduction or advancement. He is highly sought-after by patients and respected by colleagues for his expertise in this area. APS is proud to bring Dr Ngo’s world-class qualifications and experience to Sydney.
To request a consultation for Vietnamese plastic surgery, please contact us on +02 5104 9703 or fill out our enquiry form today.