A Las Vegas limb-lengthening clinic has been getting a lot of attention online this week for offering people the chance to add a few inches to their stature through minimally invasive surgery.
The LimbPlastX Institute charges up to $75,000 to add up to six inches to patients’ height, a hefty price that many are more than willing to pay to overcome their height complex. Dr Kevin Debiparshad, a consultant at the clinic, said that 30 men sign up for the life-changing procedure in 2019 alone, with even more procedures lined up for 2020, especially after the recent media exposure. The procedure surprisingly lasts only 1.5 hours and involves incisions into the leg bones and the insertion of a special stretching device. The full results are only visible after about a year.
We cut the leg bones – either femur (upper leg bone) or tibia (lower leg bone) – and insert a device that slowly stretches them out which makes you taller permanently,” Debiparshad said. “As far as the procedure goes, it’s an x-ray based surgery where I make 4-6 tiny small incisions into the leg (either thigh bone or lower leg bone) creating a window, to gain access to the hollow part of the bone, where I insert a device that responds to an external remote control that the patient will control at home. Once the device is set, I place screws at the top and bottom of the device to lock into position. This is done on each leg.”
Interestingly the lengthening of the limbs takes place post surgery, with an external remote control being used by the patients themselves to non-invasively increase their height by 1mm every day with the touch of a button. For optimal results, two to four weeks of post-surgery physical therapy are also required and included in the $75,000 price.
“Tricking the body into thinking you’re growing is basically what this is,” Debiparshad adds. Patients can become up to five or six inches higher than their original stature, and after about a year the screws and nails are removed, and the bone and tissue remain permanently stretched from that point forward.
Such limb-lengthening operations have apparently been performed for about a century, but the LimbPlastX Institute is the first to perform the procedure for cosmetic purposes. The technique was previously used on patients with combat leg wounds, car crashes, or other traumatic events, but Debiparshad and his mentor, a Dr. Dror Paley in West Palm Beach, Florida, were the first to perform it on patients who simply wanted to be taller.
“Over 90 per cent of my patients, including those who have consulted with me, are male. Most on average are about 5’6 seeking a height increase of 3 inches,” Dr. Kevin Debiparshad, who works at the clinic,” Debiparshad said. “The desire to appear taller, particularly for men, has always been a hot topic in modern day society and social norms.”