Cosmetic Surgery – A Lifestyle Need?

September 24, 2022 0 Comments

A few days ago I came across an article about surgical intervention to increase height. This caught my attention and I read through it. It is said to be a very painful surgery which not only breaks the bones (literally) but also breaks the bank account. The maximum height addition is claimed to be 5 inches. Undergoing an extremely painful cosmetic surgery, whose results may not always be as right and as expected is a very tricky decision. 

Dr Gavril Ilizarov, a Soviet doctor pioneered this technique while treating injured soldiers returning from World War II. While the surgery has evolved over the last 75 + years, the basic principles remain the same. The leg is broken in two parts and a metal rod is surgically fitted inside and held in place by several screws. The rod is slowly lengthened by up to 1mm each day, extending until the patient reaches the desired height. The bones heal with time. The surgery is followed by a tough regime of several months of daily rehabilitation to build up mobility. It is a cumbersome and painful process. It is fraught with the risk of complications, from nerve injuries and blood clots to the possibility of the bones not fusing back together. 

X-rays of legs before and after (right) the operation show the metal rods were fitted with.


Limb lengthening is not a new procedure, but its use for cosmetic reasons remains as controversial as ever.

According to a spokesperson of the Delhi Orthopaedic Association, the operation carries an element of risk and should be offered only when necessary, such as to patients with unequal limb lengths. It is harder to justify if done for cosmetic reasons, especially if complications crop up. In such instances, the likelihood of a lawsuit is also higher.

As per a report by BBC, this kind of cosmetic height-increasing surgery is available in around 15-17 countries around the world and there is an ever-increasing number of enquiries in the clinics offering the surgery.

The most common reason for undergoing this surgery is said to be low self-esteem because of short height. Another man, who had undergone this cosmetic surgery said, he felt being towered by taller people in his office. He felt adding a few inches may propel his sales career to greater heights. College goers feel that they won’t be able to get a girlfriend or boyfriend because of their short height. 

When I come across such pieces of information, I feel our beauty standards are misplaced. It is time to redefine and correct them. In the last few years, there has been a movement on social media about the acceptability of plus-size people. Now is the time to start a movement about the acceptance of short height. 

The popular new age shout-out is to “accept yourself as you are”. So why not accept your height? If being a girlfriend or boyfriend depends upon height, then this criterion is totally wrong. What is most needed in a friend? A true friend is someone who is available when you need him/her. Someone who can tell us where we need to improve and hold our hands on a tough path. None of these characteristics is dependent upon height. As for getting paid better and rising in jobs, it is more about competency and skill sets which one has to be promoted in an organisation.

There are many disadvantages of being tall too. It is not a win-win situation for tall people also. The most common disadvantage of being tall is finding clothes and footwear. Fitting into cars and aeroplanes. 

Besides these, there are a whole lot of health issues, which tall people are more prone to than people of average or short height. Tall people are more prone to backbone injuries. New research has linked tall people with more chances of getting cancer, blood clots, higher risk of fibrillation, and decreased longevity as compared with people who are average or short in height. 

It is not height which takes you to places in life. Height or lack of it does not hold you back in life. If that is the case, Sh. Lal Bahadur Shastri would have never been the Prime Minister of India. Dr Abul Kalam Azad has risen through to become the missile man of India and then the president of India. He was not tall by height but tall by stature which he had earned through his achievements.

How can one forget the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar? His height was no obstacle to his rise to become the greatest cricketer of the world. The world-famous musician Beethoven was just 5’3”. And last but not least, Mahatma Gandhi was just 5’4”. 

Focus on your health, behaviour, respectful interaction with people around and professional skills. There will not be any stopping for you to rise and shine. 



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