Assertive techs are reportedly going to extremes to add a few inches to their height by charging upwards of six-figures for painful leg-lengthening surgeries.
Kevin Debiparshad, director of the Nevada-based LimbplastX Institute, said workers from the technology sector make up a significant portion of his cosmetic surgery patients.
The surgery reportedly costs $70,000 to $150,000, depending on how many inches the patient wants to “grow,” plus thousands of dollars more in follow-up costs, GQ reported.
“I joke that I might start a tech company,” Debiparshad told GQ. “I have about 20 software engineers running this process right now here in Vegas. There was a girl from PayPal yesterday. I have patients from Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft. I had several patients from Microsoft.”
The leg lengthening process requires a painful procedure in which a doctor fractures the femur in each patient’s leg and inserts retractable metal nails. The nails are gradually lengthened by a millimeter a day over the next three months – eventually making the recovered patient several centimeters taller.
The surgery also comes with a lengthy recovery process that includes “relentless” pain that stretches the nerves, muscles and tissues of the legs to an “almost unbearable degree,” according to the GQ report.
A client, identified as a 23-year-old Chicago-based software engineer named Alan, said he underwent the procedure after developing a deep insecurity about his size. A girl he had a “super crush on roasted me for it”.
Alan spent three months recovering from the procedure and went from 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-9.
Another patient, a New York-based options trader named Bryan, also said he had surgery to improve his romantic life.
“A lot of times I’ve been rejected,” Bryan told the outlet. “I’ve swung about 100 and [connecting with] four or five.”
Standard surgery adds about three inches in height, but patients can add up to six inches if they’re willing to have the same surgical nails implanted in their shins. Cash-strapped customers can cover the costs in installments.
Despite the painful physical and financial implications, Debiparshad said his clinic has no shortage of patients.
The Harvard-trained surgeon said patient numbers have effectively doubled since remote work came to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic. Debiparshad claimed up to 50 patients a month visit its offices.
The list of patients is not limited to the technology sector. Debiparshad told GQ he’s performed the procedure on CEOs, actors, doctors, a nurse, a YouTube star and even a news anchor.
Patients are often, but not always, wealthy and share a desire to feel better.
“A lot of patients see it as an investment in themselves and not necessarily romantic,” Debiparshad said. “I think stature is such an important part of who you are and how you perceive the world and how the world perceives you. Being able to change that is so powerful.”