In a world where height is greatly valued, some people are willing to undergo brutal, greatly painful and enormously expensive leg lengthening plastic surgery to gain an extra couple of inches.
Leg lengthening is often done in other countries, with regulations that are different from those in the United States. The cost is often upwards of $100,000 and typically patients gain only 2-4 inches. To cut costs, and spend only $10,000, patients travel to all kinds of foreign countries and return with more problems than just being on the small side.
On his blog, Dr. Anthony Youn describes the exceedingly painful procedure, “This is a surgery where the bones of the legs are sawed in half and then gradually allowed to spread apart as new bone grows between the two broken halves. It’s called the Ilizarov technique, and has been used for healing fractures for years. It’s only recently making news as a technique for making a person taller.”
He also warns, “Unfortunately, bone lengthening is a tedious process which can result in a major complication like osteomyelitis (infection of the bone).”
Recovery time is significantly longer than other cosmetic procedures at 10 weeks, rather than 10 days. The surgery carries great risks, including deformity and infection. Still there are an estimated 4,000 men in the world that have elected to undergo the procedure.