From hidden heels to growth pills, the internet is awash with bizarre tactics that people can use to boost their height.
Now, it seems that many men are resorting to surgery in a desperate attempt to add inches.
Over the last year, more than 30 men from around the world have turned to The LimbplastX Institute, a limb-lengthening medical practice based in Las Vegas.
The practice offers minimally invasive surgery that promises to add up to six inches to your height – for a hefty cost.
Depending on the patient, the procedure can cost upwards of £57,180 ($75,000).
Despite this hefty cost, Dr Kevin Debiparshad, a consultant at the clinic, says that the procedure is getting more and more popular, especially among men.
Speaking to Mirror Online, he said: “Over 90% 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.
“The desire to appear taller, particularly for men, has always been a hot topic in modern day society and social norms.
“While that is certainly a driver in the popularity to increase their height, reasons for cosmetic limb-lengthening vary, ranging from a boost in self-confidence to improved physical capabilities — all of which change lives.”
The surgery itself takes around 1.5 hours, and involves cutting the leg bones and inserting a stretching device.
Dr Debiparshad explained: “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.
“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.
“Post-surgery, the external remote control is used by the patient to non-invasively increase their height by 1mm per day at the touch of a button, slowly stretching the legs to increase their height.”
While the surgery is usually painless, there are several risks associated with it.
Dr Debiparshad said: “Some risk does exist; however, the most innovative and advanced techniques available today greatly reduce patient complications.
“Risk of infection or transfusion, similar to any other type of surgical procedure, and specific to this surgery, the bone may heal too quickly, not fast enough or you could experience muscle tightening.
“Additionally, you could lose some athletic ability to get to that end stage. You can run and go to the gym, but you might not be able to sprint 100 meters in nine seconds with your newfound stature.”
While the surgery is a pretty extreme measure, Dr Debiparshad added that there are several non-surgical alternatives, although most of these are temporary measures.
He added: “High heels, shoe inserts or similar devices are certainly options to appear taller, but are obviously temporary and artificial.
“Human growth hormones (HGH) are also a common growth method among adolescents, which are permanent, but do not result in significant growth compared to cosmetic limb-lengthening. All things considered, nothing else can change your height.”
The rise in limb-lengthening surgery comes shortly after a study by dating app OkCupid found that many men lie about their height on dating apps.
In the study, OkCupid looked at the reported heights of its US users, and compared the data to the average heights of men across the US.
The results revealed that male users exaggerate their height by an average of two inches!
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