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Statement from surgeons on misrepresentation of cosmetic surgery on teens

British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) Disappointed at Sensationalist Portrayal of Rare, Isolated Cases

London, UK- 28 August 2008- Surgeons from 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, have today issued a statement condemning the sensationalist portrayal in the media of cases of bullied teens having cosmetic surgery.

BAAPS President and consultant plastic surgeon Douglas McGeorge, whose reference to an isolated example of a teenager having rhinoplasty has been widely taken out of context in today's media coverage, clarifies the basis of the story;

"These cases are extremely rare, and most BAAPS surgeons have seen no rise whatsoever in this type of patient over the last five years. Bullying is obviously a factor in quality of life but it is clearly not the only one, nor is it the only reason we would ever proceed with invasive surgery. It is a great shame that isolated cases such as these, which have had huge benefit to the patient, are being portrayed as if any young person trying to "fit in" at school is a candidate for this type of treatment. We absolutely agree with the charities that state it's the bullies that have the problem. Unfortunately sometimes the victim, such as this carefully selected and properly counselled patient, feels only a drastic course of action would do."

BAAPS also wishes to make clear that there is no basis to the reports that flat-chested girls would be offered a boob job if they weren't developing at the same rate as their friends. Douglas McGeorge adds;

"One of the few times someone of this age group would undergo surgery is if they had a significant asymmetry - in this very specific case, a girl who had one breast that did not develop at all."

The BAAPS conducted a survey which revealed that over half of surgeons had held less than five consultations with teens over the last year, and the same amount had actually only operated on less than two patients. Almost half had recorded no rise in demand from this particular age group over the last five years. What few enquiries were received centred on pinning back prominent ears, breast reduction or significant asymmetry corrections.


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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