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Doctor: Teen Too Young for Implants

January 6, 2001

LONDON (AP) _ A British teen whose parents promised to give her breast implants as a 16th birthday gift should wait a few more years, says the doctor the family wants to perform the surgery.

Dr. Anthony Erian told the British Broadcasting Corp. that 15-year-old Jenna Franklin is too young and her breasts are not fully developed.

``I also think we have to wait to see what God gives us,″ he said. If Jenna’s breasts don’t grow larger by age 18 or 19, ``then we can think about it,″ Erian said.

But Martin Franklin, Jenna’s father, said Friday that his daughter had not yet met with the surgeon, and as far as he was concerned the surgery ``hasn’t been put off at all.″

``Jenna is going to have the consultation on her 16th birthday,″ Franklin said at the cosmetic surgery advisory center that he and his wife run in Mansfield in central England. ``After the consultation, she’ll take it from there.″

Franklin confirmed that Erian was the family’s chosen surgeon, but said his daughter had not been evaluated by him. Jenna’s 16th birthday isn’t until Aug. 23.

The Franklins’ offer to pay for their daughter’s breast enlargement surgery after she turns 16 made front-page headlines across Britain on Thursday, and sparked a debate about the pressures young women face to improve their appearance.

Jenna, who will appear on an upcoming Channel 4 documentary about cosmetic surgery, said she believed bigger breasts were necessary to be successful.

Her parents agreed to support her, arguing that the operation would give their daughter greater confidence and remove any ``hang-ups″ she felt about her body.

The British Association of Plastic Surgeons said their usual advice is for women to wait until 18 before receiving breast implants because their bodies are not yet fully developed. Nothing bars younger children from having the surgery as long as they have their parents’ approval and a surgeon is willing.

``Breast augmentation is a good operation, it helps a lot of people,″ Erian said. ``But I feel at 16 the breast isn’t matured enough and there are also a lot of psychological implications.″

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