week 4/height extending surgery/alice nakata

Although it is now banned, there was a period of time when many Chinese people were adding inches to their height through a surgical procedure. When I first heard of this procedure, I didn’t have a clue on how people would be able to become taller. But then again, there were times when people had no idea that we can get skinnier, have thicker lips, or become wrinkle-less, so I guess anything is possible with the advancement of medical technology these days, right?

So the procedure. It is done by first breaking your tibula and fibula, sticking a rod through them (horizontally), which is connected to braces that the patient extends everyday. The goal is to extend the space in between the broken bones, so when the new bone is forming, it will fill that space, extending the length of the bone. This is a very very painful procedure and is also risky. The reason why this procedure got banned is because it became so popular, that doctors without the proper surgical equipments began to carry out the procedure, thus leaving patients crippled, disfigured, and still short.

Surgical procedures such as these are the prime examples of medical technology turning into luxurious pastimes, rather than to help the ones really in need. I am all for medical advancements, such as the cleft pallet surgery, but that is because it helps people who are born disfigured and complicates their daily lives. When plastic surgery became more for the normal people to “enhance” their looks, that’s when I started thinking that medical advancement is moving towards the wrong way.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2006-11/05/content_724833.htm

http://www.danwei.org/internet/height_extending_surgery_in_th.php

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