He Wanted to Be Taller. Agony, $75K Got Him There

Inside the world of surgical leg lengthening
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2022 7:30 AM CDT
He Paid $75K to Get 3 Inches Taller
   (Getty Images / eranicle)

For the next five years, John Lovedale will be paying $1,200 a month back to SoFi bank to pay off the loan he got in order to pay for cosmetic leg lengthening. The procedure is what it sounds like: one's femurs are broken and adjustable titanium nails are inserted into the bone and then extended, via a magnetic remote control, every day for 90 days. It got Lovedale 3 extra inches, and he could have opted to gain even more if he had chosen to have his tibias broken, too. Newser has reported on leg lengthening before, but Chris Gayomali's deep dive for GQ turns over some new stones. First, an anecdotal one, that the work-from-home era ushered in by the pandemic has prodded more men to seek the procedure (the recovery time is a long one).

Gayomali speaks with an expert in the procedure—Vegas-based Dr. Kevin Debiparshad—who says his patients doubled, to as many as 50 a month, once the pandemic started. Lovedale was one of them, and Gayomali points out he wasn't extremely short to begin with, at least by Americans' standards. He stood a half-inch below the male average of 5' 9". Now he's 5' 11.5" By way of explanation, Lovedale (who Gayomali notes is both a "handsome" and "funny" dad) says simply, "Taller people just seem to have it easier." But there's a cost beyond the hefty one of $75,000 to $150,000: Your proportions can end up looking off, since only your legs grow, and you're pumped with painkillers during the recovery to deal with the pain of your nerves, muscles, and tissue being pulled. As for the procedure, Gayomali got to watch, and describes it in detail. (Read the full piece, which has a before and after photo of Lovedale.)

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