Colombian man, 29, grows from 5ft8 to 6ft thanks to $175,000 operation that lengthens legs by snapping and stretching bones

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • A man underwent limb-lengthening surgery, which made him four inches taller 
  • The procedure involves breaking legs & implanting metal rods that stretch bones
  • READ MORE: Meet the surgeon who BREAKS men’s legs so they can be taller

A Colombian man who was 5ft 8 is now 6ft tall after having the ‘world’s most painful operation’ to make his legs longer.

Yeferson Cossio, 29, had limb lengthening surgery three months ago – an excruciating and expensive surgery that involves breaking the legs, implanting magnetic rods, and using a remote control to stretch them out over several months.

Though it costs up to $175,000, plastic surgeons estimate the number of men undergoing limb lengthening surgeries has doubled in the past few years. 

Mr Cossio, pictured here after his surgery, has grown four inches

Colombian influencer Yeferson Cossio, 29, underwent limb-lengthening surgery, which increased his height from 5ft8 to 6ft

The astonishing procedure works by breaking at least two leg bones in half. Nails are then drilled into either end of each thigh and shin bone, which are slowly teased apart with magnets, resulting in a longer bone over a period of a few weeks. But it can leave patients in agony and wheelchair-bound during the process, with months of physiotherapy needed after

The astonishing procedure works by breaking at least two leg bones in half. Nails are then drilled into either end of each thigh and shin bone, which are slowly teased apart with magnets, resulting in a longer bone over a period of a few weeks. But it can leave patients in agony and wheelchair-bound during the process, with months of physiotherapy needed after

Mr Cossio, an influencer with 11 million followers on Instagram, said: ‘I underwent the most painful surgery in the entire world.’

‘Just as it’s the most painful operation, it is also one of the most expensive.’ 

Mr Cossio said he paid between 200 million and 700 million Colombian pesos for the treatment, which is around $50,000 to $175,000. 

Surgery involves cutting the bone and inserting magnetic rods and pins at each end.

For the next three to four months, the legs are lengthened by up to 1 millimeter, or 0.04 inches, every day using an external remote control that stimulates the magnets.

This helps new bone grow over the rods.

Patients then undergo several months of physical therapy and have to walk with a mobility aid, such as a walker or crutches.

Doctors also recommend patients stick to a healthy diet and take calcium supplements to help the bones heal faster.

At the end of recovery, the rods are removed in a separate procedure.

The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City estimates that limb lengthening procedures have a 95 percent success rate. The hospital cites minor complications such as scarring and stiff joints as common risks and states that severe complications are rare. 

Mr Cossio said the procedure was 'the most painful surgery in the entire world.' It also cost him up to $175,000

Mr Cossio said the procedure was ‘the most painful surgery in the entire world.’ It also cost him up to $175,000

Mr Cossio said he plans to stay 6ft and not grow any taller after his surgery

Mr Cossio said he plans to stay 6ft and not grow any taller after his surgery

Mr Cossio’s surgeon pointed out that the operation is typically used to adjust malformations that leave one limb longer than the other, or when a patient loses part of a limb in an accident.

However, doctors have estimated that the number of men getting cosmetic limb lengthening surgery has doubled in just the past three years. 

The increase has been part of an overall rise in male plastic surgery. A 2019 report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons revealed that more than 1.3 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men the year prior, a 29 percent increase between 2000 and 2018.

And it appears that being taller affords men more opportunities. A 2020 review examined the ethical implications of height lengthening. It found that taller people were more likely to have higher incomes, better educations, and improved marriage potential. 

Shorter stature can also make dating a challenge. Research published last year studied the relationship between height and dating preferences among heterosexual people in the US, Canada, Cuba, and Norway. The study found that men preferred shorter women, and women preferred taller men relative to their own height. 

Mr Cossio said he learned about the procedure after suffering an issue with his legs, though he did not explain what it was. 

A three-month progression from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City shows gradual lengthening of the thigh bone, or femur. The circled gap shows the new bone growth

A three-month progression from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City shows gradual lengthening of the thigh bone, or femur. The circled gap shows the new bone growth

Mr Cossio's medical team said that after his recovery, he should be able to resume his normal activities

Mr Cossio’s medical team said that after his recovery, he should be able to resume his normal activities 

‘Two years ago, I had an issue with my legs that I don’t really want to talk about because it’s very personal,’ said Mr Cossio. ‘But one of the things that had the most impact on me was to do with leg stretching.’

‘I looked into it, met with some people, and found that, yes, it exists.’

Mr Cossio’s surgeon said that the influencer will be able to carry out his daily activities as normal when he recovers, such as walking, exercising, and playing soccer.

He said that he plans to stay around 6ft.  

Mr Cossio showed off the results on Instagram alongside his sister, Cintia. As she films with her phone, she asks him: ‘At what point did you get so big? Stand up straight for me.’

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She turns to her taller brother and says with a gasp: ‘You are a giant.’

Users criticized him over his decision to spend thousands of dollars on the procedure. In response to the online hate, he said: “Why would I hide that?

One local commented: ‘He increased his height and doubled his stupidity, how ridiculous.’

A user named Luisa said: “Now he will be walking more crooked.”

User Fred commented: “He’s wearing his mum or sister’s high heels.”

Man undergoes cosmetic limb-lengthening surgery to increase his height from 5ft11 to 6ft1 

A man has undergone cosmetic limb-lengthening surgery to increase his height from 5ft 11 to 6ft 1 to be more like the basketball heroes he grew up with. 

Alfonso Flores, 28, from Dallas, Texas, said that he had wanted to be taller from the age of 12 but his family and friends had all warned him against the ‘unnecessary’ treatment.

The freelance writer and pre-med student persevered with the surgery under the care of Harvard-trained orthopedic surgeon Dr Kevin Debiparshad of The LimbplastX Institute in Las Vegas.

Seven months after the surgery, he said it feels great to say he has finally achieved his dream of topping 6ft.

Speaking about his motivations, Alfonso told FEMAIL: ‘I know 5’11 is a great height, and many people would love to be that tall, but I wanted just a little more than that. 

‘This is something that I’ve really wanted to do as far as I can remember – since I was 12. 

He continued: ‘I decided to go for 6’1 because I started off at a great height and wanted to retain as much of my athletic ability and range of motion as possible. 

‘I seem to have retained all of it because I am able to squat the same as before.’ 

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