INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 14, 2013, 06:00 PM

Bullying causes plastic surgery to spike among teens and children

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Bullying is back in the headlines once again today. But it's not your typical story about classroom struggles or a dispute in an NFL locker room. According to the American Plastic Surgeon Society, children getting cosmetic surgery due to bullying has grown 30 percent in the last decade.

By: Drew Trafton, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Bullying is back in the headlines once again today.

But it's not your typical story about classroom struggles or a dispute in an NFL locker room.

According to the American Plastic Surgeon Society, children getting cosmetic surgery due to bullying has grown 30 percent in the last decade.

And the F-M community is part of the trend.

Karen Williams, the Patient Experience Coordinator at Catalyst Medical Center in Fargo, says that the types of procedures attracting young children are far removed from those deemed dangerous in the past.

Williams: "We have even little people in here that might have a birth mark, or some type of mark on their face that is bothering them or it's concerning the parent that they really don't want. They want to prevent any teasing or any ridicule."

Although conflicted, mother of three April Steffan says she understands the perspective of parents who opt for procedures.

Steffan: "If there's modern technology that allows that to be easily removed or something to give them a better shot at going, you know, going a little bit more under the radar to avoid some of that-- then I'm all for it. "

The majority of younger patients in Fargo are teenagers, seeking new solutions to the old battles of hair removal and acne.

But some of the patients removing moles and birth marks are as young as six or seven years old.

And former first grade teacher Vicki Tillman says that's where she draws the line.

Tillman: “It's way too young. For me, it's way too young. Unless it needs to be done for other health reasons."

Every person I spoke with about plastic surgery for children labeled it a very gray issue, regardless of personal opinion. And another question I was asked was how many children are we talking about?

The most recent numbers reported back in 2011 claim that the largest age subset of children, teenagers, received 76,000 procedures in that year alone.

Tags: