Spend billions to lengthen your legs


America80% of people with leg lengthening needs at Dr. Michael Asayag’s clinic are men.

The job of Michael Asayag, who runs the international center for limb lengthening in Baltimore, Maryland, is to make people taller. He is one of the few doctors in the world who can do this.

During the months of lockdown due to the pandemic, this doctor has seen his workload skyrocket as many people once thought they would be stuck at a certain height, but now realize things can change. change.

Michael Asayag’s shortest male client, increased 12.7 cm from the original height of 1m55, while this figure in the shortest female patient increased from 1m38 to 1m53.

Dr. Michael Assayag (right) with a patient before and after his leg lengthening surgery. Photo: SCMP

The surgery was formerly reserved for congenital dwarfs, but is now increasingly popular with the masses for cosmetic purposes.

Michael Asayag said: “The situation is changing a lot. 80% of people in need are men. They are on average less than 1m6 tall, and hopefully a few centimeters taller.”

Leg lengthening is not only for physical reasons, but largely for mental reasons. “Even when only 2-3 cm taller, many people’s lives are completely changed. They are no longer obsessed with their too short height and start anew with a new life,” Michael Assayag said.

It is not yet known exactly how many people have leg lengthening surgery in the world each year, but the medical facilities that provide this type of surgery say that more and more people are looking to them. Some people can gain 13 cm after surgery.

In the US, Germany and Korea, every year 100-200 people undergo this type of leg lengthening surgery. The figure in Spain, Italy, Turkey and India, is 20-40 people and in the UK about 15 people.

The surgery was first initiated by Soviet doctor Gavril Ilizarov when he treated wounded soldiers after World War II. The basic surgical method remained unchanged after 70 years.

The process of lengthening the limbs involves surgically inserting a device into the bone. This device has a small magnet that is activated by a remote control. After surgery, a remote control is used to gradually lengthen the bone at a rate of one millimeter per day.

The average height after each surgery will increase 7-10 cm. Some clients may require an increase of up to 20 cm, which requires a more complex intervention than conventional surgery.

Leg lengthening surgery is risky and not cheap. In the UK, a person needs to spend at least 50,000 pounds (1.5 billion VND), while in the US it is 70,000-280,000 USD (1.6-6.3 billion VND). For many people, to gain a certain confidence, this is not a small price.

In fact, studies have shown an association between height and happiness.

In a 2019 study by the University of Toronto, Canada and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA, economists concluded that tall people earn more money and get more attention on online dating sites. . According to this study, the shorter a man is, the lower his income. For women, every inch of height (2.54cm) increases income by about 1%.

According to Dr. Michael Assayag, although being tall is something everyone wants, he always advises patients to set more realistic expectations.

“If someone comes to me and says that 1m50 is too short, I will listen to them explain why so to understand if it is reasonable. If the customer’s expectations are as high as a basketball player, I will. need to explain it back to them, it’s impossible,” he said.

Vy Trang (Follow SCMP)

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