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August 8, 2012

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Plastic surgery trendy among minors but risky

EXPERTS said 10 to 20 percent of local plastic surgery recipients are minors, a group growing by 10 to 15 percent annually in the past five years due to dreams of stardom among youngsters and a more open attitude by parents.

Summer vacation is always the peak time for university students to undergo plastic surgery and local hospitals said they saw more high school students also going under the knife this year.

But doctors said having cosmetic surgery too early can be risky since a minor's body is still developing.

"We conducted over 200 surgeries last month, 30 percent more than the same month last year and 50 percent more than usual," said Dr Tang Ling from Shanghai No. 455 Hospital of People's Liberation Army. "About 80 percent are university and middle school students, who are escorted by parents."

Hospital said minors, mostly 15 to 18 years old, often received double-eyelid surgery to widen the appearance of the eye, the least risky and most popular cosmetic procedure for minors. But having a face lift is not recommended until a person is at least 18 years old.

Major hospitals said they usually refuse requests from minors for major plastic surgery, expect for repair of injuries or congenital defects.

Tang said the hospital refuses minors for major cosmetic surgery like breast augmentation, lipsuction and facial restructuring. Such surgery should not be done until age 20 or it could harm healthy development and cause slow growth at the surgery site.

Liu Chunlong from Shanghai Tida Plastic Surgery Hospital said the hospital refuses minors for cosmetic surgery requiring implants, which could bulge as skin and organs grow. Liu added, "Minors shouldn't go to small clinics or beauty parlors for such procedures if they are turned down by hospitals."


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