Limb-lengthening surgeries: Craze for height pushing Indians in danger

, 5:35 PM IST

In order to grab the attention and to improve their marriage and career prospects, Young Indians are paying for complex, painful procedures to lengthen their height.

People in India often fall prey to ridicule and abuse for being short – marriageable youth fail to get a suitable match and people looking for a prosperous career often end up losing in their pursuit. This has resulted in many people undergoing the complex surgery, which is completely unregulated in the country and many of the surgeons performing it lack experience..

Many people are putting their health and future at risk to gain a few extra inches in height, doctors have warned. India’s unregulated limb-lengthening industry is witnessing a boom as more and more people are undergoing the complex surgery in the hope of fetching a better job or a better life partner.

Among such Komal is one of a growing number of young Indians using their increasing prosperity to improve their marriage and career prospects, and fueling a cosmetic surgery boom.

24-year-old Komal, from the town of Kota, in western India, who went to see Dr Amar Sarin, an orthopedic surgeon in Delhi, who made her eight centimeters (3in) taller, a procedure which involved breaking the bones in her legs and wearing a brace until she could walk again.
Her parents had to sell the family’s ancestral lands so she could get the surgery, but for Komal, the extra height is worth it.

Dr Sarin, who started offering the surgery five years ago, has treated 300 patients already, and only a third of them are from India. “It is a growing trend in India,” he says. “I get around 20 calls a day, with people telling me ‘I want to be tall, I have to be taller.’”