Here are 4 reasons why patients regret getting cosmetic limb lengthening surgery
The first reason why patients regret stature lengthening is due to complications. Despite the majority of successful surgeries we hear about, many patients have experienced unexpected complications during and after lengthening. From infections to nerve damage, to muscle contractures in need of soft tissue releases, to malalignment to non-unions. You name it it’s most likely happened. And many of these complications can lead to long-lasting pain and discomfort. Essentially crippling you.
The next reason why patients have regretted their decision to get limb lengthening surgery was due to their proportions being skewed to the point where they just didn’t like their look. You gotta remember that this is a cosmetic procedure and that aesthetics do come into play, so if you are particularly worried about your proportions almost as much as - or more than - the height you're after, you could potentially create serious anxiety and essentially a proportion dysphoria.
Another reason why many patients regretted lengthening was because they feel they didn’t gain enough height. Most patients in this category either faced a complication like a severe muscle contracture that forced them to stop but there were a few who couldn’t tolerate the rigors of lengthening and even some who thought they would be satisfied with the length they stopped at only to realize that their dysphoric thoughts came back later on.
The final reason that patients regret stature lengthening is having unrealistic expectations. Many prospective patients might see a cool video online with a timelapse of another patients journey and think “oh hey that’s not so bad, I just pay this much, get my legs lengthened and go back to normal life.” Hmmm no sorry. This isn’t a drive through, it's a life changing procedure and something that big requires an “all in mentality”.
Guys, you need to realize you’re not only breaking your legs, you’re lengthening them. That comes with a lot of unknowns. I have found that the average amount of time it takes a femur patient lengthening 8cm without complications and a non-weight bearing nail to start walking is 6 months and to do so normally to the point where no one would notice is about 7-9 months. This takes time. Give it time.