Health Insurance Not Likely to Pay for this Surgery

Did you know that it’s possible to have surgery and make yourself grow?  A man from New York has undergone two surgeries now to make himself taller, and so far, they have been successful.  ABC News’ Denise Martinez-Ramundo and Bill Ritter talk about this cutting edge surgery in the story “New York Man ‘Grows’ Six Inches Through Surgery.”  He is 37 years old and wishes to stay anonymous until everything is complete and he knows that it was a success.

The man has gone from 5’6″ to 6′ tall through his leg lengthening surgeries.  In the surgery, the leg bone is broken in two and a metal rod is inserted right into the center of the broken bones.  This telescopic rod pulls the bone apart approximately one millimeter each day.  Soon new bone grows around the area and other body parts, like muscle, regenerate around it.  This surgery costs $85,000 and is not likely to be covered by health insurance, so you better be sure that it’s your wisest investment.  The healing process can take months as well.

Not many doctors in the United States perform this leg lengthening procedure, but one in West Palm Beach, Florida performed 650 of these surgeries last year.  While most were related to dwarfism or deformities, there are definitely a growing number of cosmetic surgeries as well.  Height dysphoria, or people unhappy with their height, is one of the only psychiatric disorders that a doctor can cure through surgery.  I bet health insurance companies are watching this story and waiting to see what the future holds for this kind of height increasing surgery.

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