Sunday, November 25, 2007

Vietnam’s plastic surgery catching up

The world wide trend of surgical facial enhancements and body adjustments has taken a firm hold in Vietnam.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City health department, the burgeoning plastic surgery industry has grown rapidly with 53 licensed plastic surgeries in HCMC.

Forty-five are specialized clinics and eight are hospitals offering plastic surgery services.

“Vietnamese plastic surgeons at the moment are able to carry out most types of plastic surgery offered elsewhere in the world like nose jobs, scar removal, breast implants, or liposuction,” said Vietnam’s leading plastic surgeon, Tran Thi Anh Tu, from HCMC-based Dr.Tu Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Care Clinic.

The latest technology including CT3, VBeam and pixel laser skin tightening is available locally, she said.

Recently Tu’s clinic hosted a training session offered by Israeli experts on Ultrashape Contour 1, a new fat-blasting technology which focuses ultra-sound beams.

The session attracted attention from several local doctors.

Doctor Tu said private plastic surgery clinics in HCMC took particular pains to keep up with new technical advances.

Vietnamese plastic surgeons attend international conferences, trained for international certificates and worked with foreign doctors.

Phan Van Nghiem, head of the HCMC Department of Health, Medical Affairs Department said the plastic surgery sector in Vietnam enjoys two major advantages.

“Vietnamese plastic surgeons are generally capable and devoted to their profession,” he said.

“Plastic surgery costs in Vietnam are also 70 percent lower than in developed plastic surgery markets like the US or Israel.”

In Vietnam, nose or eyelid surgery costs around US$250 while the price for the same services in the US ranges from $1,000 to $2,500.

Hair transplants in Vietnam cost up to $1,500, and inthe US the price averages $6,000.

At the moment, Thailand is leading other Southeast Asian countries in plastic surgery.

Dr. Tu Comestic Surgery and Skin Care Clinic’s CEO, Tran Thien My, said Vietnam’s plastic surgery industry is full of potential.

“If we can make the best of our advantages in this field, including low prices and Vietnamese plastic surgeons’ competence, we can become a popular destination for foreigners seeking plastic surgery services,” he said.

Song Du Hee from the South Korea said, “I came to Vietnam for a noselift since I heard that Vietnamese doctors are very careful.”

“I had had other plastic surgery in the US. Plastic surgery equipment in Vietnam is even more advanced than in some American businesses.”

But a former health official warned the plastic surgery sector in Vietnam faces some problems.

Former head of HCMC Health, Nguyen The Dung, said despite regular inspections from local health officials, many plastic surgery businesses were of questionable quality and operating without licenses.

In the first two months of 2006, for instance, 2 female patients died after under going plastic surgery at unauthorized clinics in the city.

Dung said a major setback was the lack of punishment for violators. The heaviest penalty at present is only a warning.

Reported by Linh Chi