New Delhi: Though there is no specific law in the country for performing a height lengthening surgery still such surgeries are performed just like other cosmetic surgeries, hair implantations etc, according to Dr Shishir Rastogi, professor, orthopaedics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
“There is no specific law for this but yes the height increasing surgeries are performed, like other cosmetic surgeries, hair implantations and all,” Dr Rastogi told India Medical Times.
He further said, “Surgery for increasing the height of a person is performed by cutting the lower limb bone and a metal frame is fixed to it from the outside with a screw. After the surgery, there is a training and rehabilitation period of some days. This rehabilitation process is carried out for three months and the patient’s height will increase as desired. However, agility and mobility of the patient is restricted. There will also be lot of bone and muscle pain.”
“This process is slow as to certain extent you are playing with the natural gift of God which you have got. Height is increased slowly and must be performed safely,” added Dr Rastogi.
Speaking to India Medical Times, Dr G Chandra Bhushan, senior consultant – orthopaedics & joint replacement, Global Hospitals, Lakdi-Ka-Pul, Hyderabad, said, “It’s an internationally approved procedure where bones are stretched with the help of limb reconstruction system (LRS). The bone is stretched at one level and gradually it’s lengthened. It’s like a bubble-gum.”
Dr Bhushan said, “We perform these surgeries routinely in cases of accidents, bone tumours and also congenital defects. When this process is done to increase height, it’s one type of cosmetic surgeries.”
Explaining the procedure, Dr Bhushan said, “It’s a limb lengthening procedure where the bone is cut and gradually increases up to 5-10 cm at the rate of 1mm per day. And then we put the internal or external fixation. Potentially, a person can gain up to four inches in height; however, most people are able to gain three inches in height without much difficulty or complications.”
Speaking about the limitation of this surgery, he said, “The limiting factor will depend on the body’s anatomy and how much lengthening the soft tissues can tolerate.”
“The bone lengthening procedure has been performed for decades, when the one limb is shorter than the other. But for cosmetic surgery, we perform this surgery only on majors (adults) as the bone has attained maturity, only after they have skeleton maturity. After this procedure one has to be at home for 2-4 months. The surgery costs about Rs 3-7 lakh,” added Dr Bhushan.
Dr Bhushan was recently in a row for performing height lengthening surgery on 22-year-old Nikhil Reddy with his parents complaining to the police that their consent was not taken before the surgery.
Dr Shibaji Chattopadhyaya, chief operating officer, Global Hospitals, where the surgery was performed on April 5, said, “The surgery that Mr Nikhil Reddy has undergone at Global Hospitals Lakdi-ka-pul does not fall under the clinical guidelines of medico legal cases. Hence, the hospital has not informed the police for the same. Patient Mr Nikhil Reddy has been fully explained about the risk, cost of treatment and due consent was taken from the patient and treatment given. As per the declaration the patient has given the date of birth as January 23rd, 1994 and the hospital in no way is legally bound to check the credentials and background of the patient unless anything suspicious is noted. In case of Mr Nikhil Reddy no such suspicious activity was observed. The patient is a major and employed and consulted the doctor for surgery.”
by Pooja Pandey