Leg Lengthening Surgery : Urban Legend? Not Really…

There’s a fascinating article on Men.Style.Com (Details Magazine) focusing on Leg Lengthening surgery. 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. The article describes the experiences of several men who have undergone the procedure, some with good, yet others with disastrous results. It’s usually performed in other countries such as China and Germany and costs anywhere between $10,000 (cut your legs in half and then chain you to a bed) to $200,000 (they do the same but give you a sandwich too).

Obviously I do not advocate this procedure. Although bone lengthening surgeries are done quite commonly in plastic surgery to treat facial deformities, these are strictly in reconstructive terms. In one syndrome, called hemifacial microsomia, the affected person has one half of their jaw which is underdeveloped. Lengthening can be done of the bone to improve the appearance and function of their jaw. Unfortunately, bone lengthening is a tedious process which can result in a major complication like osteomyelitis (infection of the bone).

In addition, I caution all my patients to be very wary of having a medical procedure performed in another country, since their training and certification processes are different that in the States, and if you were to develop a complication you might be in a big heap of a mess (both medically and financially). If you really want to be taller, learn from Tom Cruise and wear some platform shoes…at least when you’re out with your much taller wife.

Thanks for reading,

Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon

Anthony Youn, M.D.

Tagged with:

Posted in: Plastic Surgery News

Accessibility Toolbar