A MAN who spent £86,000 on shocking and painful leg lengthening operations to go from 6ft to 6ft 7in said he has no regrets.
Brian Sanchez, from Georgia in the United States, felt unhappy with his height and compared himself to a “huge thumb” before surgery.
The 33-year-old, who lives with his wife Nidia, 30, and their daughters, Kaisley, two, and Kairi, six, discovered leg-lengthening in January last year.
The mortgage broker researched opportunities in Turkey and settled on a clinic called Live Life Taller – where he forked out 35,000 euros (£30,000) for treatment.
He said: “I realised that my legs were always looking weird, and I didn’t know what it was, until one day I was sitting next to my brother-in-law, and I was actually a little taller than he was.
“I thought that was weird, because I knew he was taller than I am by a lot, and we stood up, and all of a sudden, I started looking and realised my legs were too short for my body.
“I’m broad, have long arms, and I’m wide, but my short legs make me look different – I almost look like a huge thumb, like those thumb men from Spy Kids.”
As soon as he uncovered leg-lengthening surgery he made up his mind and thought “OK, I guess this is what I’m doing.”
Brian described his initial operation, which he underwent in December 2022, and explained: “In the first surgery, they broke my tibia and fibula and hollowed out the inside of the tibia, taking out the bone marrow.
“They then put a rod inside the bone and fastened it with screws and attached the bone segments via pins to external fixators – so you have this piece of steel on the outside of your legs and have these constant open wounds that won’t close until you remove all the hardware.”
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Everyday for two months the dad-of-two had to turn a bolt on the fixators 90 degrees with an Allen wrench.
“The hardest part of the whole thing was the lack of sleep, but I think the pain will be worth it – once it’s all finished I’ll just be able to enjoy being taller, and hopefully feel on top of the world”, Brian added.
By February 2023 the long wait was over and he had grown around three inches.
The following month Brian had to undergo a second operation – which set him back an eye-watering 65,000 euros (£56,000).
This surgery was to length his femurs.
He was amazed at his recovery and said: “I actually felt great after my femur procedure, and there was almost no pain throughout the entire process, only from lengthening from actually stretching my legs.”
Throughout the process he has gained an additional three-and-a-half inches taller – making him just under 6ft 7in.
He remains in a wheelchair while he waits for a full recovery.
“When it’s fully healed, I’m trying to not have expectations because I don’t want to be disappointed but it’s hard to imagine that I’m not going to enjoy it”, the dad-of-two added.
“From the few times that I’ve already stood up, it is bizarre to see people that used to be my height come up to under my nose – it’s really weird, and it’s a lot of fun just seeing the world in a slightly different perspective.
“I can see above the fridge more easily – not that it’s that important, but it’s cool. I’ll be able to see other people’s bald spots, everything will be just different.”
I’m broad, have long arms, and I’m wide, but my short legs make me look different – I almost look like a huge thumb, like those thumb men from Spy Kids.”
Brian admitted the procedure was not something he needed but what he “really wanted”.
Plus, the mortgage broker confessed he “over-estimated how easy it would be” and wasn’t prepared for the levels of pain he experienced.
But, he added: “I don’t regret my decision, and I hope that I’m going to be really happy with the results.
“My wife is pretty tall – we were only about three inches apart – but once I’m fully recovered it’ll be a nine-and-a-half-inch difference.
“It’s going to be really nice just to be able to hug her and have her all the way down there on my chest instead of being almost eye level.
“One of the things that I’ll enjoy the most is being able to work out again and put some weight on my legs and have my body look a little bit more how I want it to.”
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When asked about how his family feel Brian said: “It was a combination of disbelief, but they also said that it is typical of me.
“I know this is a very crazy thing, it’s extremely expensive, time-consuming, difficult, painful and even risky in some respects.”