Cosmetic surgery clinics in the Capital have reported a record hike in the number of surgery requests from teenagers in the month of May. “If in April, there were 15 cases of school-going kids visiting for various procedures, in May, the number has already gone up to 25 in the first fortnight itself,” says Dr Rohit Krishna, a cosmetic surgeon in Karol Bagh.
“There is an increase of over 50% in the number of surgeries we perform on teenagers in May, as compared to other months,” says Dr Anoop Dhir, consultant cosmetic surgeon at Apollo Hospital.
Experts attribute the sudden increase to summer vacations, which provide an opportunity to the kids to rest indoors after a surgical procedure without having to miss classes. “The bookings have spiralled now that summer breaks have started. It’s especially students in classes 12th or 11th, who come in either for consultations or procedures. They opt from simple procedures like skin peels to more complex surgeries like liposuction (for fat reduction). The number of girls opting for surgery is a lot higher than the number of boys,” says plastic surgeon Dr Vivek Kumar from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
“I had discussed a nose job with my mother and she agreed that the summer break is the right time. I can tell my friends I’m travelling, and then just recover at home,” says 17 year-old Anukriti Gupta.
The trend of teenaged cosmetic surgery, which some doctors say is alarming, seems to be getting approval from parents too. “We try and tell kids, some as young as 12, the possible side effects of surgery. Not everyone listens. In fact, sometimes, the parents themselves insist on it,” says Dr Ajaya Kashyap, a cosmetic surgeon in RK Puram. “We only do nose jobs and corrective ear surgeries on young kids. Liposuction has its side effects and botox on a teenager is simply criminal,” says Dr Dhir, referring to a recent case of an eight-year-old in the US getting botox injections.
* 70:30- The ratio of girls to boys who opt for cosmetic surgeries during summer break
* Laser hair removal, liposuction and aesthetic enhancement of the nose are most popular among girls. Some also request for breast augmentation. Boys go in for nose jobs and male breast reduction
* Costs start at R20,000, depending on the surgery.