A new procedure is taking cosmetic surgery to a whole other level. An increasing number of men are undergoing a painful surgical procedure to lengthen their limbs. Dr. Dror Paley, who is an orthopedic surgeon inWest Palm Beach, has done 650 leg-lengthening procedures in the last few years. Apart from patients who have conditions like dwarfism, a growing number of patients are opting for this procedure solely for cosmetic purposes. Unlike dermal fillers, skin needling, laser hair removal and other conventional cosmetic procedures, this procedure is invasive and entails significant downtime.
Details of the procedure
The surgery for lengthening limbs is also known as symmetric extended limb lengthening. It is a complicated procedure that was traditionally carried out on individuals to fix legs that were not proportionate. The procedure is known to increase the height of an individual up to a maximum of 11 inches. The procedure enables doctors to correct bowed legs, eliminating the future need of hip surgery.
Not many doctors perform this procedure. The leg bone has to be broken first and a telescopic rod is placed in between the broken parts. This rod works by pulling the bones apart, extremely slowly. The bones are separated by around 1 mm per day. As the rod gradually pulls bones apart, new tissue like nerves, skin and arteries are generated. It is a long and costly procedure, which takes about three months to complete. The therapy is known to be quite painful and demanding physically.
The surgery involves a considerable amount of downtime. The patient is restricted to a wheelchair for the first 3 to 4 weeks after it is performed. For the next 1 or 2 years, the patient will have to walk with a rod and pin attachment device. For cosmetic reasons, the surgery gives people about 2 or 3 inches and sometimes as much as 6 inches.
According to Dr. Paley, most people who opt for the procedure are unhappy with their natural height. This condition is called height dysphoria. Psychotherapy has usually proven ineffective in changing feelings of the people with height dysphoria.
Doctors repeatedly emphasize that is it vital for patients to understand what the procedure entails before they opt for it. Some patients are even put through a psychological evaluation to ensure that they can endure the discomfort and pain that this procedure demands.