Hanoi – A Vietnamese waitress has died after undergoing silicone breast implant surgery at an unlicensed clinic, officials said Wednesday.

Dinh Thi Thu, 30, died late Monday after being treated for two days at the Rach Gia General Hospital in Kien Giang province, 250 kilometres south-west of Ho Chi Minh City, according to the director of the hospital Pham Van Dom.

Dom said Thu had been admitted last Saturday suffering high fever, nausea and postoperative shock. She died whilst being taken to a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City after her symptoms worsened.

‘She had this surgery at an unlicensed clinic in the province a week ago and we suspect that it was the surgery which caused her death,’ Dom said.

Local newspaper Tien Phong said Thu had paid the surgeon 1.8 million dong (108 dollars) for the operation.

A local police officer said the police would probably launch a criminal investigation into the case once the autopsy results were available.

Ngo Quoc Tan, who is in charge of the autopsy, said the results will be available next week.

In 2006, a 34-year-old woman died after undergoing breast surgery at her house in Ho Chi Minh City. She died after the freelance surgeon injected an unidentified liquid into her breasts. Plastic surgery has been under increasing scrutiny after several deaths in recent years were linked to unlicensed breast implant operations.

Despite an annual per-capita income of more than 900 dollars, Vietnam has seen an increase in plastic surgery, especially in booming Ho Chi Minh City, which alone has more than 40 clinics licensed to perform nose jobs, chin implants and lip enhancements.