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Cosmetic surgery: teens just 'not bovvered'

New Survey Reveals Almost Half of Surgeons Have Registered No Increase in Teen Enquiries

London, UK- 28 August 2008- Despite recent reports in the press about teenagers allegedly turning to cosmetic surgery to either emulate celebrities or to prevent playground bullying, a survey conducted by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (, the not-for-profit organisation established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit, found that there was little or no rise in enquiries from under 20s over the last five years. The few surgeries that did take place were to address deformities or conditions that were having a significant impact on their quality of life, such as a considerable breast asymmetry (where one breast doesn't develop at the same rate as the other, or at all), breast reduction or, most commonly, pinning back prominent ears.

The survey enquired as to the amount of teenagers (patients under the age of 20) that have visited clinics for consultations in the past year, the amount that actually went through with the surgery and whether there has been an increase in interest from this age group over the last five years.


One-fourth of BAAPS surgeons have only had 0-2 consultations from patients who were under 20 years of age in the last year.

Just over a quarter (28%) of surgeons have seen between 2-5 teenage patients and the same amount (28%) have seen somewhere between 5-10 for consultations during the same period

Only one in ten saw 15 or more teenagers for consultations in the last year.

Over half (51%) of BAAPS surgeons have only operated on 0-2 teenage patients in the last year.

While less than one-fourth (23%) have operated on as many as 3-5 teenage patients.

5% of surgeons have performed cosmetic surgery on 10-15 teenagers while only 2% of surgeons have operated on over 20 teenage patients.

Just over two-fifths (43%) of surgeons have registered 'a little bit more' interest in cosmetic surgery from teenagers over the last 5 years, while 41% of surgeons claim there has been no increase in the same period.

BAAPS surgeons have said that if they see any teenagers at all they are normally at least 18 years of age and that the development of their body and maturity needs to be considered before moving forward with any type of surgical procedure.

According to Douglas McGeorge, BAAPS President and consultant plastic surgeon;

"There are certain situations in which plastic surgery may assist a teenager with an obvious deformity, for example marked asymmetry 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."

Although there have been reports in the media suggesting many teens are preoccupied with breast augmentation, most surgeons have said the reality is different - the substantial majority of procedures performed on teens usually involve ear correction or breast reduction.

Rajiv Grover, Honorary Secretary of BAAPS and consultant plastic surgeon, adds;

"Considering that the number of aesthetic surgery procedures has nearly tripled in the past five years in the UK, it's natural to see an increase in interest among the public in general. However, we do not seem to have registered a particularly large change among teenagers - the few I see tend to want ear correction, or very occasionally, rhinoplasty."

According to Douglas McGeorge;

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


The BAAPS (, based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter:   and Facebook:

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