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In this report, the results of two surveys of cosmetic surgery in Norway are presented.

The first survey investigated the number of cosmetic surgical procedures carried out in 2003, with a specific focus on persons under 18 years of age. The results show that 8 000-9 000 cosmetic surgical procedures were carried out. Nine out of ten procedures were performed on women, and both for women and men the age group 30-49 was most strongly represented. Only 38 of all the reported procedures were performed on persons under 18 years of age, and all of them were considered to be medically indicated. The Norwegian Board of Health thus believes that very few cosmetic surgery procedures are performed on persons under 18 years of age.

The second survey investigated marketing of cosmetic surgery services. Advertisements in newspapers and magazines were reviewed. Little material was found in such sources. Advertisements on the Internet were also reviewed. Much material was found here. Some of the advertisements were found to be on the border of what is legal. Based on these findings, the Norwegian Board of Health recommends that regulations on marketing of cosmetic surgery services should be drawn up. At the same time, it is pointed out that there is insufficient unbiased information available to the public.

In the summary, the Norwegian Board of Health point out that regulation of the branch by legislative means can influence supply and demand only to a limited degree. Ideal body image, sexuality and individualization are key words in this respect. For the Norwegian Board of Health, complaints are an important source of information about the quality of health services, but there are few complaints about cosmetic surgery.