Germany to Ban Plastic Surgery for Children
Germany is to ban plastic surgery for minors under new coalition plans (Reuters)

Germany's coalition government will ban plastic surgery on children and minors unless it is justified on medical grounds.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party and the Social Democrats, which are to form a coalition government after September's election, have agreed to begin work on a ban from 2014, according to the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

Jens Spahn, health spokesman for the Christian Democratic Union, told Der Spiegel magazine: "Youth protection is also about protecting young people from the consequences of a wrong-headed beauty craze.

"Unnecessarily subjecting a young body which is still growing to such a significant procedure can have dire consequences, both physically and mentally.

"It is completely unacceptable to give a 15-year-old a breast enlargement as a Christmas present. Plastic surgery that is not necessary on medical grounds should be banned."

In Germany, approximately 10% of all plastic surgery procedures are carried out on people aged 20 or younger, according to figures by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

But the German Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons disputed the figure. It said that procedures on the under-20s group made up only 1.16% of the total.

Spokesman Martin Spiering said that most procedures in children involved pinning back the ears.

A survey published by German bank Bausparkasse, based on 10,000 participants, revealed that one in seven children between the ages of nine and 14 had considered the possibility of plastic surgery to improve their image. Among the enhancements considered were nose jobs and liposuction.