BEIJING - China has banned leg-lengthening surgery that a largely unregulated
beauty industry has been offering to customers who want to be taller.
"Leg-stretching surgery for the image conscious has been banned by China's
Health Ministry after a spate of botched operations," the Xinhua news agency
A patient recovers after having an operation to lengthen his
leg at a hospital in China's eastern city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province
in August 2002. China has banned leg-lengthening surgery that a largely
unregulated beauty industry has been offering to customers who want to be
The operation involves breaking the patients' legs and stretching them on a
rack, and has led to several cases of disfigurement, Xinhua said, citing the
Hospitals that conduct at least 400 orthopedic operations a year and offer
post-surgery care and rehabilitation will be allowed to carry out such
operations in future, but only on strictly medical grounds, according to a
The surgical procedure, popular among young Chinese professionals who believe
height will help them climb the career ladder, was developed in Russia to help
patients with birth defects such as dwarfism.
Botched operations carried out by unauthorized beauty clinics have left many
patients physically and psychologically scarred, Xinhua said, without detailing
Ten people, enticed by a promise of "height surgery without pain," were
reported to have been disfigured after they underwent the operation last year at
a Beijing hospital.
The health ministry said hospitals must in future tell patients about the
risks involved, while only qualified personnel would be allowed to carry out the