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Growth surgery for the sake of beauty
(Shenzhen Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-07 09:06

Recently a CCTV program reported that a young woman became crippled due to complications following surgery in Zhuhai intended to make her taller.

Liu Dan, 20, was previously 1.48 meters tall. Six months ago, she received a growth surgery. She wanted to look taller and prettier after "growing" 10 centimeters as the doctor promised. However, there were surgical complications and now she is unable to stand or walk.

But, despite the risks and possible complications, there are still some young people who are willing to go on the operating table to become taller. Guan Ying, the first man-made beauty in Guangzhou reportedly received such an operation in a Guangzhou plastic surgery hospital to increase her height from 1.62 to 1.7 meters. The operation was reportedly successful.

The operation involves cutting the patient's tibia (shin bone) and inserting steel pins.

A recommended height increase is 3 to 5 centimeters. It usually takes a patient about six months to fully recover, during which there is a great deal of pain. The operation normally costs about 10,000 to 20,000 yuan (US$1,200-2,400).

Yang Zejin

Vice principal with Shenzhen Pingle Orthopedics Hospital

I don't favor doing such plastic surgery to cater to the requirements for beauty, although the operation itself is simple and doesn't cost much.

There have been people calling or coming to us constantly and asking for information about it. Generally, the picture I paint for them is not optimistic. Because after all, it is an operation, and risks always go with operations. It isn't worth it for a healthy person to risk his or her life for the sake of perfection, and we doctors should aim to save people's lives.

On the other hand, such plastic surgery doesn't suit people older than 23, for most of us have stopped growing by then. Besides, people vary in their physical makeup. Some may adapt to such a surgery and some may not, but it's hard to tell beforehand. A human body can't be as tall as everyone would like it to be. To risk one's life while enduring great pain for about half a year to increase a height of 3 to 5 centimeters is not worth it.

Social discrimination against short people is a reason which brings them to the operating tables. As we know, astronauts are usually short. China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei is not tall as well. Maybe in the future, short people might be considered beautiful.

Zhen Peifang

SZTV hostess

I'm not favor of such a surgery just because a man or a woman wants to be a model or become beautiful. If he or she is a pygmy, it might be necessary.

Just imagine sawing through your shin bones and putting in in steel needles and nails! What a cruel way to treat your body! It's absolutely not necessary.

Recently I read in a story in a local newspaper about the top 10 beautiful Chinese women that foreigners consider beautiful, such as Gong Li, Chen Hong, Xu Qing and Zhang Ziyi. I noticed that only two of them are as taller than 1.70 meters while the others are all shorter than 1.65 meters, mostly about 1.62 meters tall. If the Westerners don't consider height as a standarda in measuring one's beauty, why should we Asians be so cruel and strict with ourselves?

Liu Tong

Office worker

I'm a perfectionist. I always think I'm not perfect enough and want to be closer to perfection. Although I didn't have such an operation, I've had plastic surgery on my eyes and nose and I've had liposuction.

I do those operations for myself because they will put me in good shape and I'll look better in fashionable clothes. In that way, I feel good and become more confident.

I never worried about the possible failure of an operation. All I think about before and after an operation are the positive things.

Ian Kennedy

British pilot

I'm not for it for the sake of improving oneself. That doesn't sound sensible. However, it's somebody's choice.

There have been already many people who took various plastic surgeries and became beautiful. That's OK if they feel depressed and sad psychologically about their imperfection and feel better inside after plastic surgery.

But if I have a daughter, I will surely not be happy about it if she's determined to undergo such an operation.

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