Abuse victims seek surgery: The British Psychological Society's conference in London

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WOMEN who have been sexually abused turn to plastic surgery to help them cope with the trauma, a psychologist told the conference.

For those abused by their fathers, this could involve altering inherited features, for example by having a nose job, said Eileen Bradbury, who works with cosmetic surgery patients at the Withington Hospital, Manchester. Most patients had surgery for psychological reasons.

These included people with eating disorders, those who belonged to close-knit ethnic-minority families, felt estranged from society and wanted to look more Caucasian, as well as those who were abused.

Ms Bradbury added: 'It is very rare that surgery is to do with vanity. It often relates to unease that the body doesn't relate to the self.'