Limb Reduction Surgery
While teenagers are still growing, they might have length differences in their limbs. One arm might be longer than the other or one leg might be a few millimeters shorter than the other. But from time to time, some people might have severe limb length differences, which may cause pain in the legs and trouble walking. At that point, people may start thinking of having limb reduction surgery or limb-lengthening surgery, depending on the doctor’s suggestion. Limb reduction surgery might not be the first choice for the treatment of short bones but it is still one of the methods to balance the length of the limbs.
Cosmetic limb shortening surgery is not as common as cosmetic limb lengthening surgery; however, if the patient wants to have it and they are suitable for the surgery, they can have it.
Doctor Yunus Öç successfully performed his first cosmetic limb shortening surgery on January 17, 2023, and there are only a few other examples of this surgery in the World. You can learn the details of the surgery and see the videos and images in the rest of the article.
Height Reduction Surgery
Height reduction surgeries are usually done for treating the length differences between the limbs. It might be a few centimeters difference or more and probably will be in the legs. Nonetheless, the surgery can be done for cosmetic purposes as well.
Someone with a limb length difference might cover them with shoes or clothing if they don’t like the way it looks but over time this length difference might cause pain and difficulty in walking if it is in the legs.
Limb reduction surgery can also be done on the arms, yet surgery on the legs is more common. With the limb shortening surgery, a maximum 5 cm height decrease can be achieved.
For the shorter limbs, limb-lengthening surgery can also be used. This can also get rid of the length difference between the limbs.
From Femur: 5-5.5 cm
From Tibia: 2 to 3 cm height reduction can be achieved.
Limb Shortening Methods
There are two different surgery methods to reduce the length of the legs. The method that you will have your surgery with will be decided by your doctor based on your age and what you want to achieve.
Epiphysiodesis is the surgical removal of the growth plates in the legs. Growth plates harden as the teenager grows and turns into somewhat like a bone.
This is how the growth plates look inside the knees
During this surgery, the surgeon opens up holes in the growth plates to stop them from growing. The surgeon can also put a metal plaque around the growth plates to stop the growth.
How is Limb Reduction Surgery Done?
The second procedure is called limb reduction surgery. As can be understood from its name, it is the reduction of the length of the bones and it affects your general height.
To achieve this, the doctor removes some of the femur by cutting the bone. Then the rest of the bone pieces are attached with an intramedullary nail until the bones heal. This surgery is usually done under general anesthesia but it can also be done with local anesthesia. After the anesthesiologist’s opinions are taken, the patient can decide for themselves to have the surgery with either general or local anesthesia. The surgery is performed with the help of a tourniquet; therefore, bleeding possibility is rare. If it is needed, blood supplements can be given to the patient as well.
Hospital and the Recovery Process after the Limb Reduction Surgery
The hospital process usually takes 3 to 5 days. In the hospital, the patient stays in a single room with a bathroom, also there is a couch for the caregiver to stay with the patient. During the hospital process, the patient gets 1 or 2 physical therapy sessions, and how the exercises should be done is explained to the patient, the patient’s medical dressing gets changed and the things that the patient should give extra attention to are explained to the patient in detail.
After the hospital process, it is advised that the patient stays in Turkey during their 1 to 2-month recovery process if they come from abroad because, during this process, they should have intensive physical therapy sessions, and doing this with an experienced physiotherapist can speed up the recovery time. In addition, during their stay, the patients can also utilize our other healthcare services. During the first 3-4 weeks, the patient needs a walker and a wheelchair, and later on, they start to walk with crutches with the doctor’s supervision.
It is expected for patients to walk unaided 2-3 months after the surgery. After the patient succeeds to walk unaided, they can start to go back to their normal lives.
The full consolidation of the bones takes 6 to 8 months after the surgery. With full consolidation, the patient gets nail removal surgery, and the process is finalized after that.
Who is a Good Candidate for these Procedures?
The mentioned procedures above are suitable for different groups of people:
Good Candidates for Epiphysiodesis
Epiphysiodesis is usually used for teenagers that are still continuing to grow. This surgery should be timed carefully for the shorter limb to lengthen enough to be the same length as the other limb but not longer than it.
Good Candidates for Limb Reduction Surgery
Limb reduction surgery is usually suitable for young adults and adults who stopped growing. Most people usually reach their tallest height at 18 or 20. For the doctor to decide how much bone should be taken out to make the limbs the same length, the surgery candidate should have stopped growing completely. It is the same for cosmetic limb reduction surgery, it is suitable for adults who stopped growing.
What are the Risks and Complications that Might Occur after these Procedures?
These surgeries, like all surgeries, are not risk-free. These are the complications and risks of an epiphysiodesis surgery:
- Deformity in Bone Growing
- Constant Bone Growing
- Over or under-correcting of the bones
Although it is not very common for these risks and complications to occur, these are some of them that might happen with limb reduction surgery:
- Muscle Weakness
- Vascular Trauma
- Slow Bone Union
- Non-Bone Union
Incisions in Limb Reduction Surgery
For limb-reduction surgery, some incisions are opened on the legs of the patient.
This is how the incisions look on the legs after the surgery. The scarring is minimal with limb reduction surgery, however you can still get fractional laser treatment if you don't like the way it looks after the process.
Height Reduction Surgery Cost
The height reduction surgery price is 19 850 USD.
If you plan to get your cosmetic limb reduction surgery, please contact our patient consultant to start your process. After your consultation with both the patient consultant and the doctor, they are going to show you the way to prepare for the surgery.
Our First Limb Reduction Surgery
Our American patient, who is in her early 20s, has chosen the WannaBeTaller team and our doctor Yunus Öç to get her limb reduction surgery. Before the surgery, our patient was anxious but once she understood that she was in good hands with the meeting she had with our doctor, she decided to get her limb reduction surgery.
This is the pre-surgery image of our patient, which has been taken with our doctor
Our patient’s pre-surgery height was 173 cm. Her post-surgery height is now 168 cm, and her height decreased by 5 cm by the femur. Before the surgery, our patient stated that because of personal reasons, she was feeling that she was too tall and wanted to get this surgery.
This X-Ray image is from the surgery when the bone was being cut
And this is the full X-Ray image of our American patient's legs before and after her limb reduction surgeries;
The surgery went efficiently and the doctor did everything by the book. Our patient’s recovery process is going well and comfortably at the moment. We wish her every happiness with her new height. If you would like to learn more about her recovery process, you can read our success story article.
You can view the bone that was cut through our patient's leg. It is exactly 4.9 cm.
If you still have doubts about whether height reduction surgery is real or not, you can check out our Youtube video, in which we explain in detail how the limb reduction surgery is performed;
And, this is the before and after image of our patient who had limb reduction surgery, side by side our doctor. You can see her height change.
You can also reach more information about limb reduction surgery from the FAQs part and by asking our patient consultant.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.Can height be decreased by surgery?
Although it is not something done often, cosmetic limb reduction surgery is possible and our doctor Yunus Öç has successfully done it. If there is a length difference between your limbs, it is also possible to do limb reduction surgery for them to be at the same length.
2.Is height surgery a risk?
Like every surgery, limb reduction surgery has also its risks and complication possibilities. You can read about what are those links in our article.
3.How successful is height reduction surgery?
The success rate of height reduction surgery is not known because there are only a few examples in the World, but the height reduction surgery that our doctor had done was completed successfully. You can read more about it in the article.
4.Is there an age limit for height reduction surgery?
Cosmetic limb reduction surgery can be done with young adults and adults who have closed growth plates, which means they stopped growing completely. Ideally, it is recommended for people over 20 but it can also be done after 18 if the person stopped growing.
5.How much is height reduction surgery?
Currently, it is 16500$ in our company. You can get more information about the additional fees; such as accommodation if you are going to spend your recovery in Turkey, by asking our patient consultant.
You will be informed about the lengthening increase, lengthening process, the prices of the surgical methods, the difference of the methods, the risks of the surgery.