Self-conscious techies are reportedly taking extreme measures to add a few inches to their height, raking in upwards of six-figure fees for leg-lengthening procedures.
Kevin Debiparshad, head of the Nevada-based Limplast X Institute, said workers in the technology sector make up a large proportion of their patients for cosmetic surgery.
The surgery reportedly costs between $70,000 and $150,000, depending on how many inches the patient wants to “grow” and thousands of dollars in additional follow-up costs, GQ reported.
“I joke that I could start a tech company,” Debiparshad told GK. “There’s like 20 software engineers here in Vegas right now doing this. It was the girl from PayPal yesterday. I got patients from Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft. I had many patients from Microsoft.
The leg extension procedure requires a painful procedure in which the doctor breaks the femur and inserts extendable metal nails into each of the patient’s legs. The nails gradually lengthened one millimeter per day over the next three months – eventually the recovered patient would be several inches longer.
The surgery entails a long recovery process that includes “relentless” pain that stretches the nerves, muscles and tissue of the leg to “excruciating levels,” according to GQ.
One client, Allan, a 23-year-old software engineer in Chicago, said he had the procedure done after he had serious concerns about his height. “A girl who had a huge crush on me grilled me about it.
Alan spent three months recovering from the procedure and went from 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-9.
Another patient, Brian, a New York-based options trader, also indicated that he underwent surgery to improve his love life.
“I was rejected a lot of times,” Bryan told the newspaper. “I was swinging like 100 and like, [connecting with] four or five.”
Standard surgery adds about three inches of height, but patients can add up to six inches if they are willing to have the same surgical nail implanted in their tibia. Customers armed with cash are allowed to partially cover expenses.
Despite the physical and financial hardship, Debiparshad said his clinic has no shortage of patients.
The Harvard-educated surgeon has effectively doubled the number of patients since remote work came to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic. Debiparshad said up to 50 patients visit his office every month.
The list of patients is not limited to the technology sector. Debiparshad told GQ that he has performed the procedure on CEOs, actors, doctors, a nurse, a YouTube star and even a news anchor.
The patients are often, but not always, rich and want to feel good about themselves.
“Many patients see it as an investment in themselves, and not necessarily in love,” says Debiparshad. “I think height is a very important part of who you are and how you see the world and how the world sees you. Being able to change what matters most.