(WRIC/Meredith) -- Most parents would stop at nothing to spare their child the emotional and physical scars of bullying. But what if your child asked for cosmetic surgery?
Sabrina Harrington faced that question from her daughter, Bella. When Bella was 11, after years of waiting, she let Bella get the surgery.
"They were teasing her over it. one thing they said she had elf ears," Harrington told WRIC. Bella said other kids would point out her ears and bully her about them, and she wanted a change.
Bella's cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Joe Niamtu, said she isn’t the only child hoping to reduce bullying by surgical alteration. She’s not the youngest, either.
"We like to treat these children before they enter school. so it's not uncommon that I'm doing 4 or 5-year-olds. and the reason is bullying, or peer pressure it's been shown to psychologically to have the ability to affect their self-esteem or body image for the rest of their life," Niamtu told WRIC.
Two months after the surgery, it’s clear Bella is happy with the results. She wears her hair up more often now and doesn’t worry about her ears as much around other people.
Cosmetic surgery for someone so young is not something to take lightly, experts warn. But for Harrington, seeing the effect it’s had on her daughter leaves her with no regrets.
"If anything I wouldn't have waited as long and had her suffer as long. I'd have looked into it sooner," Harrington said.