Many Vietnamese men are opting for plastic surgery interventions like breast implants, eyelid surgeries and nose jobs to get the body they desire.
Khai Anh, 25, an MC at a media company, said he has been feeling insecure about his skinny body. He is 1.78m tall and weighs 67kg. Wanting to have a bigger upper body, he decided to get a breast implant and enlarge his arms with silicone gel.
He said he was naturally skinny and no matter how much he ate, he would not gain weight.
“I went to the gym and followed a nutritious diet, but didn’t get the desired results,” Anh said. “I had to optimize the percentage of fat and muscle and the process was too complicated.”
He felt having silicon gel implanted into his arm muscles and getting a breast implant was easier. This meant several surgeries with a few weeks’ break between them. Each surgery cost him VND30-50 million ($1,214-2,024), and while was not easy on his wallet, the aesthetic impact was guaranteed.
Today, he feels that he has the body that he wants with no trace of surgical scars.
Statistics from the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery showed that the five most popular types of plastic surgery in 2020 were breast implants, liposuctions, eyelifts, nose jobs and tummy tucks. Among the people getting plastic surgeries, 86.3% were women and the remaining 13.7% were men.
The five popular types of plastic surgery for men were eyelifts, liposuctions, breast implants, nose jobs and ear surgeries.
Prof. Dr. Tran Thiet Son, who works with the Department of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery at the Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, said cases of men like Khai Anh getting plastic surgeries were not rare.
He said there was a rising trend among men opting for plastic surgeries among men, but specific statistics were not available yet.
The men who go under the knife for aesthetic reasons are mostly artists, actors and singers who need to maintain their handsome image in front of the public. Men who work in other industries that require good looks are also opting for plastic surgeries. These men feel an improved general appearance makes it easier to communicate and work.
Dr. Nguyen Dinh Minh, Head of Plastic, Aesthetic and Maxillofacial Surgery Department, E Hospital, Hanoi, said one in every 10 customers were men and they mainly came for eyelifts and nose jobs.
“Most of them want to look natural without showing any scar after surgery. It will help them become more confident,” Minh said, adding that the men were 20-30 years old.
Older men (usually over 50), meanwhile, look to cut excess skin in the lower eyelids or get other facelift work done, Minh added.
“A small number of men want abdominal surgery and liposuctions. These men often eat, drink and smoke a lot, so they have big bellies.”
Dr. Minh said that when performing liposuctions and abdominal surgeries, it was necessary to look at whether the fat was concentrated in the abdominal wall or in the abdomen.
“Surgery should only be performed when fat is in the abdominal wall because the fat in other places can only be reduced by exercise and diet,” he said.
There are men who visit the National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology every day for check-ups before undergoing plastic surgery. In addition to breast implants, many young men are also getting butt implants.
“Men also have the need to improve their appearance just like women; and want eyelid surgeries, ear surgeries and lip injections. Women often want a V-line chin, while men want to have a sharpened and refined jawline. Women also tattoo their eyebrows, but men don’t,” said Dr. Nguyen Hong Son of the National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology.
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Huu Sau, deputy director of the National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology, said that the hospital has had to deal with many plastic surgery complications in the eyes, nose and lips, including infections.
Some men are admitted to the hospital because of deformity, pain in the chest, lumps and infections after the silicone injections, he said.
Men’s beauty needs were increasing, but instead of going to reputable facilities to get their plastic surgeries, many were choosing unlicensed, dubious places, he added.
Dr. Minh said men have the right to change their features to look more appealing. However, he said they should not overdo it, except in some special cases. Men shouldn’t follow the female standard, he added.
Dr. Son recommended that people understand what they want and discuss it with their doctors to see if it was feasible or not. They should also follow the doctor’s instructions before, during and after the surgery.
“Another thing is that after the surgery is completed, you need to wait 3-6 months to have real results. Don’t be impatient because that will put pressure on yourself and the doctor,” Son said.
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