Leg lengthening: what is driving men to undergo this extreme surgery?
If you are a man, who is under 6 foot tall, and you are trying to use dating Apps, are you at a disadvantage? Is it true that women do not date short men? This sparked a debate between Dr Tim Pearce and his content producer Layla, who detailed the case of a man who took to social media to share his journey with leg lengthening surgery. The procedure took him from five foot five to six foot tall. Layla wanted to know why he felt he needed to do that when limb lengthening surgery is not to be taken lightly.
In this blog, we take some key points from their podcast. Dr Tim discusses why height is so important to men, and what is driving this type of extreme surgery, in this case, one that involves learning to walk again.
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Why do man want to have leg lengthening surgery?
The case in question, found on social media by Layla, relates to a man who was naturally 5’5” tall. It surprised Dr Tim somewhat that Layla questioned why this man would be drawn towards leg lengthening surgery to reach the elusive height of 6 foot. Many women he noted, when they use Internet dating Apps with select and filter potential dating prospects according to height, so this immediately puts pressure on men to conform to an ideal. If you ask the average female about their ideal height for a male partner, most will start at no shorter than around 5’10”, which is the current average height for a man in the UK.
Interestingly, this predicts that the average woman does not find a man who is 5’9” or shorter attractive, and that is quite tragic. Height is one of the ‘big red lines’ that heterosexual men face when trying to find a sexual or life partner. Therefore, if like this man, you are 5’5”, it becomes more difficult to date women. Certainly, this is the case in an age of ‘digital shopping’ for romance, where you can simply be ruled out with a quick click of a filter that chooses characteristics like height, eye colour, hair etc. The challenge then becomes to correct the things you can control, somethings about yourself you simply cannot alter, but height can be corrected, albeit with what amounts to brutal leg lengthening surgery. This is a decision taken and documented by mrbrokenbonez on his TikTok account.
Why is height important to men?
Dr Tim believes that height is a vital part of what gives men their status in society. As humans, we assess other people very quickly when we see them – the animal instinct. How a man looks, and his stature will impact on other people’s assessment of characteristics such as competence, masculinity etc.
If a man is 6’5” with significant musculature, he will have a certain presence and that gives him status and power. At the other end of the spectrum, we can imagine the exact opposite, a man who is 4’11”, seeming small and weedy in appearance, who will not carry the same presence as the former.
Of course, in an ideal world, everyone should feel comfortable, and we should not judge people by how they look; but the truth is, we all have a base animal instinct that dictates how we feel when we are with someone who has a huge presence compared to someone who does not. Height is large part of what men rely on to be successful and have presence in society.
Is leg lengthening the answer to being short?
Leg lengthening surgery is not a new concept and has been available for many years, according to Dr Tim. Layla pointed out that many of the comments on the videos on social media were genuine requests to find clinics and surgeons who could carry out such a procedure, highlighting a keen interest, perhaps because many men do feel that their height, and being seen as ‘short’, is somehow holding them back from their life goals and being successful.
It is certainly not a surgery to be undertaken lightly however, with potential side effects including nerve and muscle damage, alongside having to learn to walk again post bone lengthening.
There is a perception amongst the younger population that surgery is a quick fix for most things, but leg or limb lengthening is not a quick fix. Dr Tim compared it to his own experience of getting dental braces as a young teen. He remembered thinking, “I’m getting straight teeth”, but he did not think that he was getting nine months of pain and to end up with semi-straight teeth as a result.
There can be a perception that you can have a quick operation and be tall, that is not the case, and Dr Tim was pleased to see the TikTok videos highlighting the difficult side to the procedure, including the rehabilitation required with physiotherapy. This differs from the quick fix illusion often found on Instagram which likely shows a before and after that can lead to an oversimplified picture in people’s minds where they see the result but not the process.
What do you think about extreme plastic surgeries? Dr Tim loves to hear from his followers, so why not drop him a comment or question on social media. You can find Dr Tim Pearce on Instagram.
Aesthetics Mastery Show
What’s driving men to undergo extreme leg lengthening surgery?
In this episode Dr Tim and Layla discuss the male patient whose leg/limb lengthening surgery that increased his height from 5”5 to 6ft. Whilst this sounds like a win, the surgery is pretty brutal and involves learning how to walk again. In a world where we can now filter out potential partners based on their height, did he feel like this was his only option to compete? Are dating apps to blame? Watch the full Aesthetics Mastery Show here.
The show has stimulated plenty of debate, with comments from practitioners and patients, including:
“Thanks for sharing, I love the idea and concept of extreme. Extreme is so subjective and relative I love this conversation. Extreme is surely simply, at or beyond the fringes, of what you feel comfortable with. In the similar vain that people think “injections in the face just for more cheeks” “is extreme””
“I saw this surgery a few years ago. It’s more popular in Asia, go figure. It’s insane, in my opinion. Wear shoe lifts inside your shoes, wear a small heel on the outside. Take growth hormones in your teens when you’re aware that you’re shorter than your peers, but breaking both legs and cranking them every week or so, waiting for bone to fill in? Everything that comes with this procedure, the risks, etc.? Nuts. I like this chat session with Layla! She’s so pretty and funny”
“If it makes him happy that’s all that matters”
“I would question the ethics of physicians performing this type of surgery and put it into the same category as removing the ribs to have a smaller waist. I believe this is where the problem lies. This is obviously a cash procedure and not insurance paid surgery. Patients are looking to the physician to have some sense.”
Read more comments and join in the debate on our YouTube channel.
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