Different people have different physical looks, and while some are happy and satisfied by their appearance, others don’t appreciate themselves. Alfonso Flores, for instance, is among a group of people who suffer from low self-esteem. Despite having a reasonable height of 5’11,” the 29-year-old Dallas, Texas native, has never appreciated the appearance of his legs. Flores said he wanted to add the length of his legs to enhance the quality of his life. To achieve ‘better looks,’ Flores decided to undergo limb-lengthening surgery. Flores confessed that he was not happy with the height of his thighs as they looked shorter than the femurs [thigh bones). Hence, he decided to add an extra three inches of height to make his femurs look better.
Limb-lengthening surgery has become an increasingly popular type of cosmetic surgery. According to Dr. Kevin Debiparshad, a Canadian orthopedic surgeon who works in Las Vegas, the number of patients going into the clinic to pursue limb lengthening had doubled yearly. Debiparshad said, roughly 90% of the population interested in this surgery were men. He said his clinic conducted seven surgical procedures and about 20 to 30 consultations in July.
The procedure entails making four to six incisions in the thigh. The doctor then separates the bone through the small incisions and place an implant into the bone’s hollow center, and lock it into place. The patient is then given an external remote control device to control the implant, which slowly stretches the bones. After the preferred height and length are achieved, the lengthening phase is stopped, and the bone starts to restore.
Dr. Debiparshad said it was merely invasive surgery as it took about one hour and a half to complete. Patients walk the same day using a walking aid, and they may experience a little pain when they wake up. The first few weeks after the surgery are quite tricky because of the soreness and tenderness in the legs.
Studies have shown that tall people have more benefits than short people. Tall people are believed to be more confident, attractive, and tend to make more money. On the contrary, shorter people have low self-esteem, and they see the world around them with more mistrust. Following these societal perceptions and insecurities, some Canadians have opted for the lengthening surgery. According to studies, many are preferring the operation because they feel insecure about being short.
Increasing your height comes with a price. It costs around US$75,000 (C$99,000) to get it done south of the border. Marie Gdalevitch, a limb lengthening and deformity correction specialist, based in Montreal, offers the procedure in Canada, at around C$85,000. Gdalevitch said the process could be dangerous if done wrongly, and so people should be careful.
Some doctors say the surgery was never designed to be a cosmetic procedure. Dr. Carrie Kollias, a Canadian doctor, said the reasons to consider a limb-lengthening surgery, would be unequal leg lengths, back, hip, or leg pain. Complications associated with limb-lengthening surgery include chronic pain, fractures, blood vessel injury, deformity, nerve injury, and bone infection. Kollas said these were significant complications not to be taken lightly, especially for those who were doing it for cosmetic reasons.