Height Surgery? I'll Pass ...
Posted 03/05/12 at 08:32AM by Audrey Fine
Why my measurement marks on the back of our kitchen door topped out in 7th grade has long been a favored family dinner table debate. My mom smoked when she was pregnant with me. I never drank milk. I was asthmatic as a kid, bla bla BLA.
Don't get me wrong, there were times in my life that I thought it'd be fun to be a tad more Amazonian. Did I ever dream of sweeping into a room all willowy like Elle Macpherson and have everyone crane their necks to greet me? Sure. Did I spend endless nights crying myself to sleep over it? Negatory. But some people are really sad about their height. And, much in the way that some crave new, bump-less noses or smoothed out aged faces, bunches of the vertically challenged among us are turning to plastic surgeons to help out.
Now Tom Cruise may be content to wear lifts in his loafers to compensate for his small stature but at least 650 people underwent height surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. last year.
That's right, 650 folks plunked down $85,000 and endured the painful, lengthy procedure that involves breaking the leg bone in two and implanting a telescopic rod into the broken bones that stretches the bone approximately one millimeter a day, just to be taller. The procedure takes three months to complete and requires extensive physical therapy, but for some it's worth it.
Dror Paley, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon at the Paley Institute at St. Mary's and he's one of only two surgeons who perform the procedure in the United States. And, while they're probably less-than-tall, what drives people to sign up for the height surgery?
"The majority who come for cosmetic limb lengthening have what we call, height dysphoria," says Paley. "They're unhappy with their height. It's one of the few psychologic-psychiatric disorders that you can actually cure with the knife."
The knife and nearly a hundred grand. But, hey, who am I to judge? Just because it's not for me, doesn't mean it's not a viable procedure, one that's putting a spring in many people's (longer) steps every day.
Would you consider this surgery?
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