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Updated 29 October 2015

The last frontier: Cinderella cosmetic foot surgery

Cosmetic surgery to your feet has two purposes: one, it provides support and fixes imperfections so that you can fit into designer heels and, two, it is a way to attain perfectly proportioned toes and slim feet.

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The physical demands of wearing Manolo Blahniks and Christian Laboutin high fashion high heels can sometimes put fashionistas off the extremely expensive footwear - even it it remains on their must-be-seen in list.

To fix this problem Evofoot podiatrists Dr Ali Sadrieh of Beverly Hills in California performs a "bunionectomy" or, as it is known now, the Cinderella procedure.

In medical terms it is a 'hallux valgus correction with osteotomy and screw fixation" but in essence it reshapes their feet so that they can easily walk in their killer heels.

Read: Help, bunion surgery freaks me out

He told the New York Times that the surgeries have become so popular that he, with the help of his patients, have coined new names for the procedures.

For instance they call aesthetic toe-shortening The Perfect 10, and toe-lengthening the 'Model-T toe"procedure.

Another popular procedure is a Foot Tuck - a fat-pad augmentation where fat is inserted into the soles of the feet to help women to walk more comfortably in their high heels. It is also used to diminish heel pain.

Some surgeons in the UK also offer full foot facelifts where bunions are removed and toes are straightened and shortened in one go.

Elle.com reports that one Dr Chasin of New Jersey in the States injects a filler into the sole of the foot that helps restore volume and cushions the ball of the foot, making wearing super high heels easier.

Before and after the Cinderella procedure. Source: Evofoot.com/Pinterest


et other podiatrists go even further, offering food surgeries which include nail resizing, foot narrowing, a toe tuck - a surgical procedure to shorten the second toe, and toe obesity surgery that make fat toes thinner and more beautiful.

During a toe tuck a piece of bone is removed near the joint and titanium is inserted to fuse it in the correct position to prevent the toe from buckling.

Toe lengthening involves releasing ligaments and fusing a custom silicone implant to the bone to extend it.

It stretches stubby digits and corrects toes that were over-shortened by previous surgeries.

Before and after Model-T Toe Lengthening on the fourth toe. Source: Evofoot.com/Pinterest

Toe slimming involves removing calloused skin, scar tissue or a small piece of bone or fat and straightening the pinky so it better firs the shoes.

Some surgeons also perform specialised liposuction to slim down chubby toes.

Costs for the procedures range from R30 000 to R70 000, depending on the complexity of the surgery.

Watch: A report on Cinderella foot cosmetic surgery via USA Today

Is it safe?

The Harley Medical Group in London warns that some surgical experts are less than impressed with this procedure and that many cosmetic surgeons are expressing concern that cosmetic foot surgeries are hugely invasive, increasing the risk of restricted joint movement as well as permanent pain.

One consultant stated: "Surgeons registered with the British Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, the regulatory body, would only perform foot surgery to relieve pain or correct a deformity such as severe bunions or clawed toes.

In the most extreme cases, theres even a small risk of life-threatening blood clots. Even when surgery is successful, it involves spending at least six to eight weeks recovering.

If you're in urgent need of foot surgery, call the SA Podiatry association +27 861 100 249 and ask them to put you in touch with a foot and ankle surgeon in your area.

Read more:

Cosmetic surgery tourists may get wrong breast shape
When cosmetic surgery turns ugly
Gynaecologists alarmed by plastic surgery trend
British woman dies while having butt implants removed

 
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