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Short people are paying black market surgeons to lengthen their legs so that they appear taller


(NaturalNews) Cheap cosmetic leg-lengthening procedures in India are booming, though such medical procedures remain unregulated by the government. In India, height and long legs are considered attractive features. Therefore, many Indians believe that adding a few more inches to their height will help them get a better job or improve their chances of finding a desirable life partner.

Today, many people from other countries are also approaching Indian doctors to perform cheap, high-risk leg-lengthening surgery. These extremely challenging and painful procedures are not always carried out in the best of conditions, or by the most experienced surgeons.

"This is one of the most difficult cosmetic surgeries to perform, and people are doing it after just one or two months' fellowship, following a doctor who is probably experimenting himself," Dr. Amar Sarin, a Delhi-based orthopedic surgeon who's developed a reputation for successfully performing the procedure hundreds of times, told the Guardian. "There are no colleges, no proper training, nothing."

A few inches to boost confidence

The leg-lengthening technique, which involves breaking the bones in the legs and wearing a brace for five to six months, was created by Polish physician Gavriil Ilizarov, to help people who had experienced limb injuries or been born with defects. Today, however, orthopedic surgeons across India are using this controversial technique for cosmetic reasons.

One of Dr. Amar Sarin's patients, 24-year-old Komal from Kota in western India, praises the procedure for transforming her life. Her mother and father had to sell their ancestral lands to gather funds for the surgery that made her three inches taller.

"I have so much confidence now," the girl told the Guardian. "I was just 4' 6" [137cm]. People used to make fun of me and I couldn't get a job. Now my younger sister is doing it, too," she added.

High-risk procedure

While young Komal couldn't be any happier, not all the stories have such a happy ending. Many medical professionals have warned against the high-risk surgery. If it goes wrong, it can leave a person crippled for life.

In April 2016, Nikhil Reddy, a 22-year-old man told the Times of India that he had been misinformed by doctors, and regrets undergoing the procedure. He has been left bed-ridden and in intense pain. Reddy claims that he was never informed about the long-term pain and immobility. They told him that he was going to be able to walk with a walker after just two days.

"I feel cheated as I was never told about the adverse side-effects before the surgery," Reddy told the Times of India. "I was told that pain would be little and tolerable, but it is far from truth."

The Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA) has stressed that it does not advise people to undergo these high-risk procedures, with only a few very rare exceptions. They further note that these surgeries are not routinely performed in India, and carry a high risk of patients developing complications.

However, despite the risks and warnings of the IOA, many people, not only from India, flock to the country to receive limb-lengthening surgery to make them that little bit taller.

Dr. Sarin, who has performed the limb-lengthening surgery for five years, and has worked with over 300 patients, says he struggled with the ethics of the surgery at first.

"I used to wonder whether what I'm doing is right, but when I saw how much their self-esteem was improving, I decided to keep going," he says.

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