How did you find out that limb lengthening was even an option?
I was hanging out with friends getting lunch and one of them jokingly brought up the surgery not directed at me but just that there are people who actually would do it. I hadn’t heard of Leg lengthening and researched the hell out of it that night. I was already wearing lifts in public and felt better about my appearance from that. I joined the make me taller forum and just read a bunch of diaries from former patients from different doctors where they share their procedure and for the most part it just seemed like a few months of pain. Most of the patients were walking after 6 months which I know sounds like a long time but the mental space I was in, 6 months seemed like nothing if it meant I wouldn’t be short anymore.
I researched for about a month negotiated with my doctor and bought my flight.
How, exactly, do they do it?
Tibias are broken in half with a surgical saw. You get frames put on your legs on both sides of the broken tibias. Every day you lengthen about 1mm and your muscles and skin stretch with the gap of the bone.
Do you then just always have a gap in your bone?
No, your body is truly amazing. The gap gets replaces with new bone. Once the bone is fully recovered it’s called bone consolidation. That’s what I’m waiting for to happen for my legs. It’s taking it’s sweet time though.
How much did the procedure cost?
That’s pretty cheap, where in the world was the operation performed?
In India. China and India currently have the lowest cost procedures. It’s about 90K in the US and UK.
Did you pay cash for this procedure? Does the 15k include everything, or are you also supposed to feed yourself too?
Wire transfers to the doctor. Some people make a large down payment and then make small payments over their time there. yes, 15K includes everything.
Three meals are provided every day but they’re not that good. You’ll eat them for the first couple months and then start eating fast food.
Is the facility/hospital clean by western standards?
The hospital is clean for sure. It’s more everything else that sucks. At the guest house that I’m at we eat pretty much the same stuff everyday. We only recently discovered Mcdonalds and as a person who hasn’t eaten fast food in years I’ve eaten probably over 200 Chicken Nuggets.
What did you do all day in the hospital while not in physical therapy?
Patients play poker, chess and watch way too much horrible television. It’s the most relaxed time of my life. Some people try and use the time to be really productive by learning a new language or taking on some new skill but the pain makes it pretty hard to concentrate for an extended time.
Why did you stop at 3 inches?
3 inches is about the most I could gain and stay under a 20% gain in my Tibia which is recommended for a faster recovery with less complications.
How painful was the lengthening?
Every day you try and lengthen about 1mm which isn’t too bad until you start getting toward your 5cm mark. Your body is kind of just taxed. Some patients slow down the lengthening and others just deal with the pain but take the pain medication and muscle relaxers. We get two physical therapy sessions a day and that’s where the real pain is. You spend probably 22 hours a day just laying down but for these sessions they are stretching out your legs and insuring that you maintain flexibility. I’m pretty flexible but have lost a lot of strength. I’m now 125 pounds from 145. and my legs look like real skinny.
Complications can really get you, I had a pin site where the metal goes through the the bone and comes out on the other side that was infected. I couldn’t really move my leg much for about 4-5 days until the infection went down. I’d say I got lucky overall in that I didn’t have too many complications. Another patient had to stop because of nerve damage around 2 inches. He’s 5’7 but wants to lengthen his femur’s now.
Are there potential long term health issues with this type of surgery?
Limited mobility, bones not forming properly.
What made you do it?
More or less I was just tired of feeling like I had to make up for my height. Like I had to be more charming more outgoing more qualified for the same things and i’ll admit mainly women. I have female friends who flat out in the past have told me the only reason they wouldn’t date me was because of my height.
Have you gotten rejected a lot because of your height before?
Many times except it’s typically not a direct rejection. For example in my teenage years and early twenties I would just be a girls friend with benefits. We’d have a good time together and as long as she knew that other people thought we were friends there was never a problem with us going out in public. You’re having a sexual relationship with a person who only wants others to think of you as friends. A couple times I’ve powered through it by being persistent and eventually gaining some form of a relationship but all that work and it’s built on an uneven foundation. I’m always the aggressor always the one expected to do more for my partner. It’s taxing.
I just find it depressing that height is such an issue in society that you were willing to put yourself through this.
I agree 100%. Wish it wasn’t this way but it IS. I want you to think about this though. I could have spent the rest of my life always being upset about my height and I think that would have been more painful. I just went through alot of pain but it’s already in the past. Now I just need to focus on walking and my bones healing properly.
Can you explain the two types of people you’ve met there?
Some people such as myself feel like this was the only piece missing in their life. They had the looks, the personality but just lacked the height. When you talk to these guys you see that they’re really confident and just want to go back to their routine with a better outlook.
Then you meet some folks here who leg lengthening is just one of the many things they “need” to fix about themselves almost like career patients. They want to do leg lengthening then penis enlargement and more plastic surgery. I feel that these guys won’t really be happy with any results they get.
Can you do sports after this surgery? Does it affect you physical condition?
After about six months I’ll be lucky if I can play basketball again. I won’t do serious weights on my legs for at least a year or so just to play it safe. Also age comes into play. Older patients have a harder time recovering. So far my recovery time has been pretty good but my bone consolidation is taking what feels like forever.
So was it worth it?
Yeah, I’d say so. Now that I’m back I’m slowly starting to hang out with old friends and most of them comment on how I look taller but I always just say it’s because of the crutches. I’m walking around at about 5’9 without shoes and with at 5’10. I’m now taller than the majority of women I meet and it feels good. When I hug somebody even in my fragile state right now I still feel more manly because I’m hugging down now. My bone is pretty solid now and just struggling with my muscle. My leg’s are still really weak but I’m now starting on lifting legs at the gym but really low weight. I’m still excited about the thought of me walking around like a normal person at this height.
Say in 20-25 years your own kid comes up to you and says they want to get the surgery what would you tell them?
Go for it. In 25 years I imagine this procedure could possibly be even safer and hopefully less invasive. We can all sit here and say that we should all be happy with who we are and we can make it sound like I’m insecure for getting this procedure but I’m pretty sure I convey more confidence than my peers and co-workers. I would never want a person to miss out on something as important as a loving relationship because of something they have no control over such as height.