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  • Foot Plastic SurgerySome women will do anything to be considered beautiful and this can come at a costly and painful expense.  Take for example, an emerging trend for women to have plastic surgery performed on their feet, in the name of having pretty feet.  Whether it is straightening their toes, removing fat from or injecting fat into toes, or altering the length of toenails, podiatrists have been receiving more and more requests from women about their feet.

    This new trend arose from women who wished to look better in stiletto heels, which are considered to be the sexiest and most alluring shoes a woman can wear.  Now more than ever, women are wearing these three to four inch, narrow heels, on a daily basis and for incredibly lengthy periods of time.  Consequently, their feet are suffering. Some of these plastic surgery procedures serve to alleviate some of the pain associated with wearing these heels all day while others merely serve to make the foot look more attractive in open-toe shoe and sandal fashions, or to enable a woman to slip in more easily into narrow shoes.

    This trend is reminiscent of ancient Chinese foot binding which took place approximately one thousand years ago and served to keep women’s feet small and dainty, as that is what beauty was perceived to be.  Foot binding lasted until the mid 1600’s and caused severe and permanent damage to the arch of the foot, serious infection and disease, as well as the loss of toes.  Later in life, women whose feet were bound as young girls were unable to stand unaided from a sitting position and were at great risk for falling and fracturing a hip.

    Nowadays, procedures such as Restylane injections in the ball of the foot serve to cushion the pain associated with wearing stilettos for long periods of time.  Yet, there are many other procedures which are used to make the foot look more attractive including liposuction of toes and feet, narrowing of feet, and shortening of the second toe, so it is more similar in length to the rest of the toes.  Some patients have even asked to have their pinky toes removed.  

    Patients who have had these procedures are pleased about being able to wear the high heels and open-toe shoes that they love and to be able to show off their feet, which they previously were embarrassed to expose.  However, a good number of podiatrists are cautious about performing procedures which serve only to alter the appearance of the foot for only aesthetic reasons.  Stating that the foot is functional, they believe it can be dangerous to perform such procedures on such critical body areas which are used in almost all key daily movements of a person.  Some physicians believe it is silly and risky to perform such procedures which could potentially damage a patient’s mobility.  Dr. Stuart Miller has been quoted as saying, “complications can be devastating” as some women are forced to undergo multiple follow-up procedures in order to correct mistakes made during the first procedure. Another podiatrist, Dr. Rock Poistano believes that women have a misperception of the role their feet play in their life, stating, “I always tell people it’s not like a facelift because you don’t walk on your face.”  Dr. Poistano adds, “Is it worth taking even a small risk to possibly give up your ability to walk around comfortably?”

    Despite warnings of doctors and the high cost of the procedures, often around $20,000, the trend seems to be catching on quickly.  One wonders how Mr. Manolo Blahnik, the creator of what many women believe to be the most coveted stiletto heel in the world, feels about this decision for women to aesthetically alter feet in order to look better in his shoes.

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