Patient’s Guide to Limb Lengthening Surgery
Who We Are and What We Do?
Limblengtheninginturkey.com has been started by a team of people who have undergone LL surgery themselves. We work with surgeons who successfully perform limb lengthening in Turkey. At the same time, the limblengtheninginturkey team follows-up limb lengthening patients and provides services depending on their demands and complaints. We know about the problems caused by low self-esteem.
Our Duties and Responsibilities at Limblengtheninginturkey.com
- Providing general information about limb lengthening and limb reconstruction surgical procedures; how they work, surgery methods being applied, surgeons whom we work with, order to avoid these. More in-depth medical and technical information can be provided by doctors in an online / phone consultation.
Assistance in visa procedures
- Establishing communication with the doctor and hospital
- Accurate estimation of surgery
- Arrangement of transportation services in Turkey
- Hotel or apartment recommendations and arrangements
- Assistance in getting physiotherapy, nursing and caretaking services
- Guided city tours and touristic trips
General Info About Limb Lengthening
Cosmetic limb lengthening is a procedure in which the major bones of the legs (either femur or tibia) are surgically cut, then metal fixators are attached to the legs, and with the help of these devices, the growth of the bones is achieved on a daily basis. The average daily amount of distraction of bones is 1 mm. In this way, a maximum of 7-8 cm height gain can be achieved on femurs or max 6-7 cm on the tibia. These are the highest height increases. In the imperial unit, you can get something around 2-3 inches in one procedure.
If you are aiming for something between 12-15 cm, then it is possible. But it should be noted that most patients are satisfied with the result.
We the limblengtheninginturkey.com team have aimed to provide limb lengthening and reconstruction services for the best possible price without sacrificing. Our surgeons have performed over 485 limb lengthening surgeries. We generally prefer surgery methods. These surgery methods are different inpatient comfort levels, duration of fixation (period spent with internal/external devices), patient mobility, etc. The costs of used materials and fixator devices are also different, so are the differences in prices.
Here is the list of surgical methods we apply:
1. Holyfix (an alternative to Ilizarov)
2. LON (Lengthening Over Nails)
3. PRECICE 2.2
4. PRECICE STRYDE
Holyfix is a fully external method. There are rod-like metal fixators attached to the legs. Patients turn screws on the device, according to the exact instructions given by the doctor. Holyfix is the best option, but the disadvantage is that patients have to walk, sleep and live with these devices for around 9-12 months, till the bones have fully integrated and are able to carry weight on their own. This long period is uncomfortable and unpleasant for many Holyfix patients, according to the feedback we get from them.
LON method involves the same external device, but the major difference is that there are intramedullary rods implanted into the bone cavity during operation. This nail significantly reduces the time spent on external fixators. The internal nails hold the bone after externals are removed, till the bones fully consolidate. When consolidation is adequate, the internal nails are also removed in relatively minor surgery. It may seem too many surgeries, but device removal surgeries are minor (take approx. 30 mins), and patients recover very quickly after that.
Precice 2.2 and Precice Stryde methods are the most comfortable and least risky ones. In the Holyfix and LON methods, which involve external fixation, cause open wounds, where the pins enter the soft tissue and the bone, the necessitate regular pin site care, and bandage. But Precice and Stryde methods are fully internal and they eliminate this need. The wounds are stitched after the nails are implanted into the bones, and there is no way for infection to penetrate. In internal methods, 2-2.5 months, the length of the lengthening, and the length of the desired length are achieved, the doctor locks the motorized nail mechanisms, and patients gradually return to normal life in a few weeks.
All these methods allow walking during the distraction phase, with the exception of Precice 2.2, where motorized nails cannot bear weight and patients have to use wheelchairs for 2-2.5 months.
Limb Lengthening Surgery in Turkey
1) Contact Our Patient Consultants
You can contact us via email, WhatsApp, voice calls, Facebook and Instagram and get individual assistance and extensive information about limb lengthening operations, pre and post-surgery procedures and services FOR FREE. We provide free consultation because you have everything you need to learn about limb length. If you want more information about surgical techniques, you can reserve a paid video consultation session.
2) Making a Decision and Reservation Process
After acquiring all the information you need, you can make your choice of surgery method, the part of the limb you are planning to have operated (femur or tibia for legs, forearm/humerus for arms), plan a date for your surgery, decide whether you are going to stay in Turkey. By properly filling out the form, we will provide you with the best quality services. If you have difficulties in making choices, you can always contact your patient for further information and guidance.
To reserve a date for your surgery. By paying 10% of the surgery cost, you are planning to come. The following advantages:
- Reserving the desired date for your surgery
- Securing the current price of surgery
- Benefiting from any possible prices, deals, and vouchers
We will provide you a document confirming your reservation after deposit. When you come for surgery, you will pay the remaining 90% of the surgery cost.
Deposit Agreement on our website.
3) Preparing For Your Visit to Turkey
It is very important to get info about what kind of document you need to enter Turkey. We are able to provide help in getting e-visas / regular visas, or residence permits in case you plan to stay for long periods and your visa doesn’t allow to do so. Airplane tickets long before your travel, so that you do not miss your surgery.
It is highly recommended to come with a caretaker. This can be a parent, sibling, relative or anyone close to you. Especially in the first week after surgery, you can feel more comfortable with someone around, staying with you. For this reason, we have included a caretaker service in the surgery. A caretaker will be speaking whenever you want. But you may feel lonely if you move to the hotel.
4) Your visit to Turkey and Pre-Surgery Procedures
Our staff will wait for you at the airport. Once you arrive, you will be taken to your 5-star hotel for a good rest. On the next day, you will be taken on a guided city tour to see our beautiful Istanbul city, enjoy local meals and best sights. Then the driver will take you to the hospital. Test results are usually arranged later on the same day, or on the next day.
Once you tick all the boxes, you can proceed to payment. The preferred payment method is money wiring, but on special requests, a credit card or cash can also be accepted. As bank transfers usually take around 1-3 working days to be processed, in order to save your time, a few days before you come. In this scenario, there will be no delays in your surgery.
After every step before surgery is completed, a consent form will be presented to you. Once you give consent to the surgical operation, you will be taken to the hospital for surgery.
5) Shortly After Surgery
Congratulations on having your limb lengthening surgery successfully! On the next day after surgery, we will provide you a walker (Precice 2.2 method is an exception because you can not walk for the first 2-2.5 months or so move around). It will be difficult at first, but with your strong will, you will make it. A caretaker will be at hand for your additional needs. After 4-5 days, when you are about to be released from the hospital, your doctor will give you instructions about how to make daily distractions (lengthening) reduce pain. We will double-check to make sure you can do this on your own. Now you are good to go.
If you initially planned to return to your home country, we can take you directly to the airport. Before leaving, the doctor will issue a flight permission report, so that you don’t have difficulties. Using this report, you can also ask for help from the airport.
In case you prefer staying in Turkey a week, ten days, or even till your distraction is over and external fixators are removed (Ilizarov, Holyfix and LON methods), we can help you find accommodation (a hotel, house or flat depending on your preferences and budget). Since we have agreements with several hotels, we are able to get lower than regular prices for our patients. More info on hotel and other service costs will be provided later.
6) Distraction (Lengthening) Period
Now you are on your daily journey to become taller. You use the screws on external fixators (Ilizarov / Holyfix / LON) or electronic controller (Precice 2 / Stryde) to make your legs longer by around 1 mm every day. Due to having fixators on your legs, and due to bones being previously cut in the surgery, it is natural to have high amounts of pain. Luckily, a number of painkillers will be provided before you leave the hospital.
On week 2-3, most patients feel enough improvement to be able to walk with crutches, one crutch or no support at all. At this point, the pain has minimized, the walking ability has increased and the overall feeling is better. But this is not the end yet.
In around 1 month or more, when you have reached 3-4 cm, there will be enough tension in the leg muscles to cause muscle pains, feeling of tension and discomfort. This is physiotherapy professional. It is highly recommended to get at least 1 physio session per week, but 2-3 sessions per week. You can do complimentary daily exercises on your own, but this is not always enough. You will also be encouraged to walk. The more you force yourself to walk, the faster the bone regeneration process will be.
To monitor your distraction and bone regeneration progress, an x-ray of your legs will be taken once or twice a month. (X-rays in the post-surgery period are not covered by surgery cost, but we will do our best to get minimal prices for imaging centers). If you are in your country, you can communicate with your doctor over the Internet and send x-rays, photos, and videos for a professional opinion. After consulting with your doctor, you feel there is a need. For general questions feel free to ask us anytime. For more information, please always refer to your surgeon.
If you stay here in Turkey, we can arrange transportation for you to go to doctor controls. Also, at a reasonable price, we can arrange a physiotherapist, doctor assistant, or nurse to visit you several times a week depending on your needs. For your convenience, we have service packages that include the most necessary services compiled together:
Accommodation at a 3-star hotel + 3 meals a day: 1250 euro
Physiotherapy (monthly, 1 session per week): 120 euro
X-rays: 150 euro
Medications: 80 euro
Total monthly cost: 1600 euro / month
Accommodation at a 4-5-star hotel + 3 meals a day: 1950 euro
Physiotherapy (1 session every two days): 450 euro
Xrays: 150 euro
Medications: 200 euro
Total: 2750 euro / month
Please note that these packages were made by the convenience of the hotel. It is difficult to get these prices from the same facilities as regular clients and to help our patients save their money and time. The prices are subject to change, but the patient will always be informed in such cases.
7) End of Distraction and Removal of Devices
With proper physiotherapy and a good hygiene level, you will finish the distraction and reach your target height with a minimized risk of complications. In Precice 2.2 method, after distraction, you will be allowed to walk again. Initially, you will need to improve your daily life. In Precice Stryde method, patients are able to walk more easily, even after distraction, but after it is completed. After 1-1.5 years have passed from your operation, the internal nails can be removed. Internal nail removal is optional. They can be removed at a later date,
In external and LON methods, there are external devices to be removed before you can enjoy your life. By examining your x-rays, the doctor will tell you when the devices have been removed.
In Holyfix / Ilizarov methods, the devices can be removed only after FULL consolidation of operated bones. This usually takes 9-12 months from the date of operation and this duration depends on age, bone regeneration speed, the efforts of the patient in walking, nutrition, etc.
In the LON method, in around 2-4 weeks after distraction, the doctor will evaluate your x-rays and invite you to external device removal. It means you can get rid of external fixators in 3-5 months depending on the lengthening amount, compared to 9-12 months in fully external methods. After externals are removed, you will quickly be able to return to work, studies and your daily routines. Regardless of the chosen method of surgery, doing sports involving bone movement and weight-bearing.
LON can also be removed.
It becomes obvious that there are two relatively minor device removal surgeries in Holyfix, Precice 2 and Stryde methods. Each surgery of device removal costs 750 EUR.
8) Before Enjoying Your New Height
Our patients frequently ask about different types of sports. It is an individual thing but most types of sports are allowed in 1-1.5 years after surgery, that is when bones fully consolidate and become sufficiently strong. For some types of sports, you may have to wait for 2 years or so, but it is always better to discuss it with your doctor for a professional opinion.
Please do not forget that we are always happy to help and answer your questions. The evening after a return to Istanbul, you will be glad to see you here in Istanbul.
Additional Important Notes
Risks and Complications
The risk percentages are very low in limb lengthening operations, contrary to what many people believe. We have had only a handful of patients. They have been treated with additional corrective surgeries or procedures by their doctors.
Limb lengthening is:
Deep infection: possible in methods with external devices, such as Holyfix / Ilizarov and LON. If the wounds around the pin sites are not cleaned properly and they get infected, if not treated in time, an infection can cause serious problems. We have had patients with a minor infection on the surface (2-3 in every 10 patients) and these have been treated successfully with antibiotics usually within a week or so.
Non-union or slow union of bone: rare, but when it happens, bone regeneration can be increased by PRP treatment. If the bone is not regenerating at all, in rare cases there is no need to remove the bone grafts.
Very fast union: we have had this in one of our patients. The bone has become impossible to lengthen the bone. With an efficient additional operation, the bones were re-cut and the patient was able to continue. The patient successfully completed lengthening and returned to daily life and work. This kind of complication is quite rare.
Nerve or soft tissue damages: this may happen if the patient lengthens more than the recommended amount by the doctor. To avoid, doctor’s instructions must be taken seriously.
Note: To learn more about the possible risks of limb lengthening surgery and ways of treating complications, please ask your doctor.
You can contact us 24/7 and our patient consultants will get back to you as soon as possible. WhatsApp is a fast and efficient way of communication, but you can use email, Facebook, Instagram, website chat and phone calls to reach us.