Tech industry professionals are paying up to $120,000 to grow their legs

What is this nonsense?! How much would you pay to be 3 inches taller? 75,000 dollars? For some, this is a fair price to increase their prestige. Interestingly, tech industry professionals make up a large portion of the patients who request this costly and painstaking surgery. Is it really worth it? I suppose it depends on your point of view, but after reviewing the details, I wasn’t sold.

There has been an increase recently in an uncommon form of plastic surgery that adds a few inches to a patient’s height. Dr. Kevin Dieppershad, one of the few doctors who Implement The procedure in the US, claims to have up to 50 new patients per month who want to be a little taller. Oddly enough, a large number of them work in the technology industry.

“I’m joking I can open a tech company. I’ve got, say, 20 software engineers doing this procedure now and they’re here in Vegas,” Dibiparshad told GQ. “There was a girl yesterday from PayPal. I have patients from Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft. I have had many patients from Microsoft.”

The reason why many technologists seek the procedure may be that they have a lot of money but not enough self-esteem.

Prices range from $70,000 to $100,000 for an initial procedure, which involves cutting both the femur (femur) and inserting a large titanium screw between the broken bone. The bars are gradually extended by one millimeter per day for three months. Next, the surgeon removes the screws, a procedure that costs an additional $14,000 to $20,000. The result is an increase of up to three inches in height.

There is a fine line between being taller and looking like a Slenderman. image credit: Ernst Viken

It’s not just a high price that people should consider. Some patients choose an extra three inches by performing the procedure on the shin bone. However, at what point does a person begin to look horribly abnormal when only their legs are lengthened? Even after a few inches, the bodies look oddly disproportionate.

Another downside is that the operation essentially paralyzes patients for up to three months. During that time, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels are slowly stretched, causing excruciating pain. Strong analgesics cope with this problem, but some patients are afraid of addiction. So this is not something anyone would want to easily get into.

In fact, leg lengthening was not always considered a cosmetic procedure. A Soviet orthopedic surgeon named Gavril Ilizarov developed the procedure in the 1950s to treat deformities such as uneven leg lengths and complex fractures. It was generally considered medically necessary.

It was also more intrusive. Basically, doctors would break the leg, then instead of immobilizing it, they attached a medieval-like scaffold to the leg called Ilizarov’s apparatus or frame. The staples on the abutment were pushed and attached to the bone holding the leg in alignment but with the fracture separated enough to allow new bone to grow into the gap. The patients were usually bedridden for months but eventually had legs.

Some surgeons still practice the Ilizarov procedure. However, the alternative form used by Dr. Dieppersrad et al is relatively new, having only been developed in the past five years. It has advantages over using the Ilizarov frame, the most obvious of which is the elimination of inducing too many wounds. Since all the mechanics are inside the leg and magnetically set, there is less chance of infection from gap sores caused by Ilizarov frame pins.

Doctors continue to work on the operation to make it faster and easier for the patient. Between 2019 and 2021, they used a stainless steel bolt instead of titanium. The steel was much stiffer and allowed patients to walk on it. However, they were summoned when it was found that there was a chance of corrosion. Dr. Dipiparshad says a new nail is awaiting FDA approval, and should be available in 2023.

Main label credit: Ellipse 2016

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