Height Surgery? I'll Pass ...

Posted 03/05/12 at 08:32AM by Audrey Fine

I'm the pipsqueak in my family. My dad's 6'4", mom's 5'9" and, even though I'm the oldest child, my siblings (sister 5'10" and brother 6'3") dwarf my 5'5" stature. Of course, I'm not really short, above average in fact for American women who typically clock in at 5'4", but I've always felt petite (blech, hate that descriptor) because, after all, I was raised by giants.

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?
And the survey says...
1-6 of 10 Comments

  • Posted by EricaF123 on 12/29/12 at 01:38pm

    No thanks!

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  • Posted by jessica_vesneski on 12/22/12 at 02:38pm

    I am only 5 feet tall; and as I would like to be a little taller, I would never endure this surgery. It's amazing at what lengths people will go to fix an insecurity. As I would with a new improved nose. =] but height surgery, no way.

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  • Posted by Nicole2814 on 04/26/12 at 05:12pm

    noo painful

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  • Posted by beautybody on 03/25/12 at 07:52pm

    I just saw a news story on this. Talk about painful. I am already tall for a girl so I won't have to worry about this surgery any time soon.

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  • Posted by MssDani on 03/21/12 at 02:45pm

    I am a happy 5'0 and would never change anything about it. I'm perfectly fine being small. In some way it makes me feel feminine. My only gripe is putting on weight when you are short is much more noticeable.

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  • Posted by princezz1252 on 03/15/12 at 02:46pm

    NO WAY! That is quite a lot of pain, etc to add a few inches (at most). Now, for people who are really suffering from dwarfism & want it, I can understand it then.

    Report Abuse

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