Chinese city weighs ban on plastic surgery for under-18s

November 2, 2012

Chinese city weighs ban on plastic surgery for under-18s
Chinese city weighs ban on plastic surgery for under-18s

There's been a lot of talk in the media recently about the declining age of the average plastic surgery patient. There are some reasons why a young person may elect to go under the knife - for instance, bullied youths may want to correct a facial feature that gets them unwanted attention at school. However, in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, officials are concerned that the trend is all too common, and could be harmful to its youthful citizens, New York Daily News reports.

The new ruling proposed by lawmakers would ban people under 18 from going under the knife, and would require parents of under-aged people to give consent for any cosmetic surgery given for medical reasons. The bill would go into effect in the beginning of 2013 if passed.

"If approved, the regulation will be the first rule that has addressed the issue of plastic surgery for under-18s in China," medical lawyer Zhao Yin said, according to the news source. She says she hopes the bill would influence action on a nation-wide level.

A law professor at a college in Guangzhou said that across the country, younger and younger people are choosing to go under the knife. "In the pursuit of a fashionable or pretty look, these youngsters may make an ill-thought out decision to undergo a procedure that could harm their health," he said, according to the news source.

While this issue may be a major concern in China, statistics show that it's relatively uncommon for young people to get plastic surgery here in the U.S. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, only 1.4 percent of plastic surgery procedures performed last year were done on people 18 and younger.

Minors who are considering cosmetic surgery should be sure to talk over their options thoroughly with their parents and then, together with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Some medical professionals may advise young people to wait a few years, as most people's faces continue to grow and change throughout young adolescence.

Patients of any age should ask their plastic surgeon about his or her history and experience, and ask to see before and after photos to get a better understanding of what results may be possible. 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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