A Colombian influencer who paid $175,000 to grow from 5ft 8in to 6ft says he has been left in constant excruciating pain.
Yeferson Cossio, 29, had limb lengthening surgery — which involved breaking his legs, implanting metal rods and slowly stretching them — four months ago.
But as the rods have slowly pulled his bones apart to stretch them, he said the pain has become so bad he feels he will collapse and is desperate to take the rods out.
The pain is so excruciating that it is ‘constantly interrupting’ his sleep, with Mr Cossio saying he can now only sleep for ‘around two hours [every night], maximum’.
Though expensive, plastic surgeons estimate the number of men undergoing this surgery has doubled in the past few years.
Yefersen Cossio, 29, hassaid he is in excruciating pain after paying to raise his height from 5ft 8in to 6ft. The operation cost about $175,000
The above photos also show Yeferson before, left, and after, right, the surgery. He is scheduled to have the devices removed later this month
Mr Cossio is pictured above during the leg lengthening surgery, where doctors first broke his leg bones before implanting devices that would cause the bones to gradually lengthen
Mr Cossio, who has 11.1million followers on Instagram, said: ‘I’m very nervous, I want this to end, but it’s not possible.
‘I’m not sleeping well at the moment.
‘Normally, I sleep four to six hours a day. [But over] the last 11 or 12 days, I’ve only been able to sleep around two hours, maximum.
‘And that is constantly interrupted by periods of 15 to 20 minutes because of the pain in my legs.’
He added: ‘I have tried sleeping pills, but they don’t work for me. The pain wakes me up and I feel devastated.’
‘Maybe there is going to come a point where my body will collapse and I will no longer be able to cope with the pain or anything.’
Mr Cossio said he paid between 200 million and 700 million Colombian pesos for the treatment, which is around $50,000 to $175,000, which he had at a clinic in Bogota, the country’s capital.
The surgery involved cutting the bone in his leg and then inserting magnetic rods and pins at each end.
The devices have now been in his legs for four months, lengthening them by up to one millimeter, or 0.04 inches, every day using a remote control.
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’s medical team said that after his recovery, he should be able to resume his normal activities
He is set to have them removed during surgery on January 25, and will then start rehabilitation where he learns to walk, jog and run again.
In recent videos, he has mostly been shown in a wheelchair — which he needs to stay in while the leg bones lengthen.
Yeferson is pictured above while having his limbs lengthened. In the clip, the girl with him says he is now a giant
Doctors also recommend patients stick to a healthy diet and take calcium supplements to help the bones heal faster.
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’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.
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, is pictured above after the surgery. He had to have the devices in his legs for four months, which slowly lengthened his bones every day
Mr Cossio said he learned about the procedure after suffering an issue with his legs, though he did not explain what it was.
‘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.’