I had limb lengthening surgery that changed my life and my career

I had limb lengthening surgery that changed my life and my career

I had limb lengthening surgery that changed my life and my career

  • Ibrahim Alğan paid $26,850 for leg lengthening surgery.
  • The 30-year-old told Insider that he hates being short. “When you’re short, you start at 1-0.”
  • He has gained almost 5 inches and says he is more confident and has even changed his career.

As a school counselor, Ibrahim Alğan’s job was to help young people solve their problems. However, he could not solve his own: a serious growth complex.

Alğan, who is 30 years old, comes from the city of Adana in southern Turkey. He was 5 feet 2 inches tall and had a strong feeling about his height.

“If you’re shorter, people don’t take you as seriously as tall people,” he told Insider. He said he felt he wasn’t confident enough to help students at his school.

“I firmly believe that charisma is one of the essential qualities of leadership,” he said. “When you’re short, you start at 1-0.”

Alğan said his colleagues joked about his height at least once a week. He said he felt tall people around him were more popular and had more opportunities. “They were more advantageous in both private relationships and recruitment,” he said.

He said he never forgot how his first girlfriend told him she wished she was taller, and said the derogatory comments throughout his life “always stayed” like “a wound in me”.

So he researched methods that supposedly help a person grow taller. He took powders and pills to increase his height. He played basketball, swam and jumped.

“I was hanging in the bar for a few minutes before going to bed almost every night,” he said. “I’ve used reflex pads that supposedly stimulate growth.”

Nothing worked except for shoes with hidden heels that made him up to three inches taller. But they weren’t enough. “It was like a false dream,” he said. “Every time I took my shoes off, I was faced with reality again.

“My obsession grew bigger every day.”

“My Life Purpose”

Ibrahim Alğan lies in a hospital bed before surgery.

Alğan underwent his first surgery in February 2015.

Courtesy of Wannabetaller

After two rounds of leg lengthening surgery, Alğan added 5 inches to his height.

He didn’t tell anyone about his first surgery in February 2015, thinking no one would understand.

This made it 2.4 inches taller. When people noticed it, he said he had a bone deformity and needed surgery to fix it.

In March 2020, he underwent a second surgery which added another 2.4 inches to his height.

The operation changed his perspective so much that he quit his job as a consultant and started his own clinic in Turkey that offers leg lengthening surgeries. He is the main coordinator and his team consists mainly of other people who have undergone surgery.

“I realized that there are many people in Turkey who want to undergo this surgery, but there are not many options to consult or even get more information about the process of lengthening the lower limbs,” he said.

His clinic, Wanna Be Taller, costs between $70,000 and $150,000, depending on whether the patient wants to grow 3, 4, 5 or 6 inches.

He said he had not thought about running a leg-lengthening business before the surgery. “My only goal – I might even call it my life goal – was to grow taller.”

A new group of patients

Leg lengthening surgeries have been a hot topic in recent months. It was originally used to treat people with legs of different lengths, but is now being used by patients who want to get taller.

Kevin Debiparshad, a Harvard-trained surgeon known as one of the world’s leading limb and leg lengthening surgeons, said the procedure involves cutting through the leg bones – femur (upper leg bone) or tibia (lower leg bone).

“I make four to six small incisions in the leg, creating a window to access the hollow part of the bone, where I insert a device that responds to an external remote control that the patient will control at home,” Debiparshad said.

Using a remote control, the patient increases his height by 1 millimeter per day after the procedure, in a usually painless process.

He told Insider that the increased media attention and decreased stigma surrounding cosmetic procedures has opened up the procedure to a new group of patients.

“Traditionally, most of my patients are younger, short men who want to increase their height. However, we see a lot of older patients, people of average height, female patients, and even those who are seeking height reduction surgery,” he said. “The latter group includes people who are transitioning and want their bodies to better match how they perceive myself”.

“Now I see myself as a real adult”

Ibrahim Alğan sits cross-legged outside.

Alğan was 5 feet 2 tall before leg lengthening surgery.

Courtesy of Wannabetaller.

Alğan said his life has changed “dramatically” since he got taller.

“I felt like a kid when I put on the suit, but now I see myself as a real adult,” he said. “I hear the phrase ‘this outfit suits you’ more often and it positively affects me in many aspects of my life.”

He likes not having to look up when talking to people, and it allows him to “think more healthily and therefore make better decisions.”

He said his new job at the clinic is similar to his previous role as a counselor: “I support people who have psychological difficulties growing taller.”

“People don’t make fun of my height anymore,” he said. “As a leader, I believe there is nothing more valuable than the confidence I have now.”

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