how surgeries to grow taller are catching on

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The pandemic has affected many of our habits and behaviors but, in times of zoom, perhaps one of the most curious be that of going through the operating room of a cosmetic surgeon, nothing less than to add a few centimeters to height. That’s what they seem to have done quite a few engineers in silicon valley.


Prepare to return to the office.
Work centers have had different rhythms when it comes to getting their employees back to their jobs. From those who never had the opportunity to work from home because the characteristics of their work prevented them from doing so, to those who today continue to work in pajama bottoms.

But saving those two extremes, perhaps many have been surprised to see their companions somewhat changed. In Silicon Valley, more than one seems to have returned to the office a few centimeters taller: this type of operation has grown significantly during the pandemic, or so Kevin Debiparshad, a surgeon who operates in the US state of Nevada, believes. that ensures that among its clients, one of the most common profiles is precisely the engineer from the ‘big tech’.

Even doctors consult YouTube to learn how to perform operations that they had not done before

An extension of the femur.
The operation is simple on paper, but forceful: requires breaking the two femurs of the interested party. During the operation, a metal structure is inserted and nailed to the bone. After this operation, the nails gradually move away, at a rate of one millimeter per day thanks to a magnetic control system.

This phase lasts three months. The bone regenerates itself, occupying the gap left by the rupture and displacement of the ends of the bone. The process can take several more months in which the patient’s new bone will not be completely solidified.

Not everything is advantages.
The long recovery period may be the first inconvenience, but whoever wants to gain a few centimeters must take into account some other discomfort. The first is that the result can be a bit strange. All height is gained in the legs, so the proportions of the body change.

The process is painful, it not only affects the bones, but also requires nerves and muscles to adapt to the new length. This pain can be intense. Debiparshad also warns that it can lead to some loss of agility. Therefore, it may not be a great idea for someone who is a few inches short of making the basketball team.

Little affordable.
And of course the price. The process can cost between 70,000 and 150,000 dollars, depending on how many centimeters the patient wants to add. The range is between 7.6 and 15.2 centimeters. To reach these more than 15 centimeters, the operations also affect the tibia of the patients.

Some financial entities have seen the business and offer payments in installments, about 1,200 dollars a month, but in general the prices quite limit the profile of the clients (wide within this limitation).

Men thing.
Height increase operations are especially (although not exclusively) in demand by men. The stigma of cosmetic surgery is in reverse, and more markedly in men. In Spain, only 16.6 of the almost 400,000 cosmetic surgery operations performed each year are performed on male patients according to the Spanish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.

Silicon Valley already seemed to have soaked up this trend for cosmetic surgery in times before the pandemic, although on that occasion the news referred to minor interventions, such as laser treatments or the classic Botox.

However, one cannot speak of a disappearance of the stigma: in the case of height increase surgery, at least, most prefer to hide the operation, at least outside their narrowest circles. In any case, aesthetic stigma seems to prevail for many.

The two sides of aesthetics.
Like so many other aesthetic operations, the origin of this intervention has its origin in reconstructive surgery. Gavriil Ilizarov was a Soviet physician who in 1951 developed a system for applying bone elongation (the lengthening of a bone) to the legs.

The goal was treat traumacongenital differences in the length of the legs and other possible disorders, but today its uses also include making us grow a few centimeters.

The Ilizarov apparatus at first glance has little to do with its modern version. In its old version, the mechanism consisted of a scaffold-like structure surrounding the limb. The system that is applied to aesthetic operations on the femur is much less cumbersome, only visible through an X-ray.

Image | Anna Shvets

The pandemic has affected many of our habits and behaviors but, in times of zoom, perhaps one of the most…

The pandemic has affected many of our habits and behaviors but, in times of zoom, perhaps one of the most…

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