28 August 2008

Selected cosmetic procedures could have "hugely beneficial effects" on younger people, according to a new survey by the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery (BAAPS).

The research showed that over a quarter of BAAPS surgeons had been approached by up to 10 patients aged below 20 years about corrective plastic surgery.

The most popular surgical requests were breast reductions and ear pinning, while a minority of young people seeking plastic surgery enquired about nose surgery.

In addition, five per cent of BAAPS surgeons surveyed stated that they had performed cosmetic surgery on up to 15 teenagers.

Douglas McGeorge, president of BAAPS, said: "There are certain situations in which plastic surgery may assist a teenager with an obvious deformity, for example marked asymmetery of their breast or correction of a substantial nasal deformity.

"However, surgery on a teenager should not be taken lightly - body development, maturity and self-esteem all must be considered before proceeding with such a procedure."

In response to the research, anti-bullying charities have asserted the importance on tackling the causes of bullying, before teenagers are driven to more extreme measures, like cosmetic surgery.

Both Mr McGeorge and Rajiv Grover, honorary secretary of BAAPS, have stressed that there has not been a particularly large rise in the number of enquiries from under 20s in the last five years.

Mr McGeorge added: "Lots of kids may talk about it, but talking about cosmetic surgery is a long way from actually going and having it done yourself."