Journal article

'Operating is the easy part': Surgeons' decision-making processes and responses to parental requests for elective paediatric appearance-altering facial surgery

Lauren Notini, Lynn Gillam, Merle Spriggs, Anthony Penington



Some parents request elective appearance-altering facial surgery for their children for cosmetic, psychological and/or social reasons. These operations have attracted controversy in the bioethics literature. They are also the subject of professional guidance documents internationally, which leave much to individual practitioners' discretion. Despite their controversial nature, very little is known about surgeons' practices and decision-making processes regarding these operations. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted by 22 plastic surgeons and oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Australia to explore their descriptions of the types of parental requests they receive for these ope..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the 22 surgeons who took the time to participate in this study. This research was supported by a Discovery Project Grant from the Australian Research Council (DP130100454). We acknowledge the infrastructure funding received from the Victorian State Government through the Operational Infrastructure Support (OIS) Program. Dr Lauren Notini's work on this project was funded by an Australian Postgraduate Award. Dr Notini also received funding from the Children's Bioethics Centre, Royal Children's Hospital (Pratt Bioethics Education Bursary), University of Melbourne (Melbourne Abroad Travelling Scholarship), and the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne (Population Health Investing in Research Student Training Award), enabling her to present some of the findings of this study during the 2014 Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET) Conference in Lugano, Switzerland and the 2014 Appearance Matters Conference in Bristol, England. Funding sources were not involved in the study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.