Limb Lengthening in Turkey > Patient Guide

Patient's Guide

Patient’s Guide to Limb Lengthening Surgery

Who are we? and What do we do?

Limblengtheninginturkey was founded by a team of people who had undergone LL surgery themselves. Thus, we truly empathize and know about the problems caused by low self-esteem. We work with surgeons who successfully perform limb lengthening in Turkey. At the same
time, Limblengtheninginturkey team follows-up patients and provides services depending on their demands and complaints. 

 

Our Duties and Responsibilities 

In order to provide the qualified services, we make sure that we arrange everything before your arrival in Turkey. Thus, the accurate personal information is needed from the patients. The necessities below should be discussed with the patient consultant before the arrival in Turkey via phone call or online meeting;

·        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 aim to achieve between 12 – 15 cm, it is possible, however, it should be noted that most patients have been satisfied with the results they gained so far.

Our surgeons have performed more than 500 limb lengthening surgeries until now. There are different types of surgery methods and it varies in terms of comfort levels, duration of fixation (the period spent with internal/external devices), patient mobility and so on. Since the materials and the devices differ in each method, the prices are defined accordingly. Here are the surgery costs of each method;

1. Holyfix (An Alternative method 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.

Steps in Limb Lengthening Surgery


1) Contact Our Patient Consultant

You can contact us via email, WhatsApp, voice calls, Facebook and Instagram and get individual assistance as wells as edetailed information about limb lengthening operations, pre and post-surgery procedures and services FOR FREE. We provide free consultation because you have every right to learn about limb lengthening. If you want more information about surgical techniques, you can reserve a paid video consultation session with our doctor in consideration of charge. The consultation fee costs 80 Euros.

2) Making Decision and Reservation Process

You can contact us via email, WhatsApp, voice calls, Facebook and Instagram and get individual assistance as wells as edetailed information about limb lengthening operations, pre and post-surgery procedures and services FOR FREE. We provide free consultation because you have every right to learn about limb lengthening. If you want more information about surgical techniques, you can reserve a paid video consultation session with our doctor in consideration of charge. The consultation fee costs 80 Euros.

3) Preparing For Your Visit to Turkey

It is very significant to haver information 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. Make sure to book Airplane ticket early so that you do not miss your surgery date.

It is highly recommended to come with a caretaker. This can be a parent, sibling, relative or anyone close to you. Especially, you can feel more comfortable with someone around staying with you in the first week after surgery. In case you have no one to accompany with you, we have included a caretaker service in the surgery cost. A caretaker will be speaking your language and assist you about anything you want.

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 be accepted as well. As bank transfers usually take around 1-3 working days to be processed. Thus, in order to save time, you can instruct your bank to transfer the money in a few days before. 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 your surgery.

5) Shortly After Surgery

Congratulations on having your limb lengthening surgery successfully! On the next day after the surgery, we will provide you a walker (Precice 2.2 method is an exception because you cannot walk for the first 2-2.5 months or move around since the nails cannor wear your weight). 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. When you are about to be released from the hospital after 5 days, your doctor will give you instructions about how to make daily distractions (lengthening) and reduce the pain. We will double-check to make sure you can do this on your own. Now you are good to go to your hotel for some rest.

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 ask for help from the airport  as well. (The doctor highly advises patients to stay here during the lengthening process)

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 to provide 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 prices than regular prices for our patients. More information for hotel and other services’ cost will be provided later.

6) Distraction (Lengthening) Period

Congratulations! 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 bones being previously cut in the surgery, it is natural to have high amount of pain. Luckily, a number of painkillers will be provided before you leave the hospital.

Most patients feel enough improvement to be able to walk with crutches 2/3 weeks after the surgery, one crutch or no support at all. At this point, the pain becomes minimized, the walking ability increases and the overall feeling is better. But this is not the end yet.

In around 1 month or more, when you reach 3-4 cm, there will be enough tension in the leg muscles to cause muscle pains, feeling of tension and discomfort. These are the issues that a good physiotherapist must handle. It is highly recommended to get at least 3/4 physiotherapy sessions per week at first 3 months. You need to do daily exercises on your own, but this is not always enough for sure. You will be encouraged to walk during the sessions as well. The more you force yourself to walk, the faster the bone regeneration process will be.

To follow up your distraction and bone regeneration progress, an x-ray of your legs will be taken once or twice a month. 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. You can get contact with the doctor or your patient consultant for general questions or detailed information.

If you stay here in Turkey, we can arrange transportation for you to go to doctor controls. 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:

7) End of Distraction and Removal of Devices

With proper physiotherapy and a good hygiene level, you will finish the distraction and reach your desired height with a minimized risk of complications. In Precice 2.2 method, after distraction, you will be allowed to walk again but don’t neglect your exercises & stretches that you are told to do by the doctor and the physiotherapist. In Precice Stryde method, once the distraction is over, patients are able to walk more easily. After 1-1.5 years pass from your operation, the internal nails can be removed. Internal nail removal is optional and can be removed at a later date.

In externals methods, the doctor will tell you when the devices need to be removed by examining your x-rays.

In Holyfix / Ilizarov methods, the devices can be removed only after FULL consolidation of operated bones occur. 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, and so on.

In LON method, in around 2-4 weeks after distraction is over, the doctor will evaluate your x-rays and schedule an operation date to remove the external fixators, which means you can get rid of them in 3-5 months depending on the lengthening amount compared to 9-12 months in fully external methods. After the 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 need to be avoided at least a year.

There are two relatively minor device removal surgeries; External removal surgery and Internal removal surgery. Each of them costs 750 Euros.

8) Before Enjoying Your New Height

Our patients frequently ask about different types of sports to play. Doing extreme activities or sports are allowed in 1-1.5 years after the surgery, that is when bone is fully consolidated and becomes 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. Feel free to contact us at any time.

Additional Important Notes

Risks and Complications

The risk percentages are very low in limb lengthening operations, in contrast to what many people believe. As in any surgery, there are possible risks of complications, but these are very small possibility and these complications are preventable and treatable.

The surgery is quite safe, and the possibility of complications is minimal. During the treatment, if you do regular exercises and get physiotherapy service, you can have a smooth and riskless procedure. However, limb lengthening surgeries have a 95% success rate, it is highly advisable to the patients to have through knowledge of all the least possible risks involved;

Deep infection: If the wounds around the pin sites are not cleaned properly and they get infected. Since it is 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: Even though it occurs rarely, bone regeneration can be increased by PRP treatment. If the bone is not regenerating at all, in rare cases, bone grafting is needed.

Fast union: It is even rarer than slow union. The optimum bone distraction rate is 1 mm/day for the great majority of patients. This speed is slow enough to ensure the soft tissues aren’t exposed to abrupt tension increase and damage, and fast enough to prevent early consolidation of bones. If a patient’s bone consolidates so much during bone distraction, that it makes bone lengthening impossible or difficult, it is early bone union. This kind of complication can be treated by a secondary osteotomy, which is re-cutting the affected bone, allowing the process to resume. Or, if enough bone distraction has been done and both legs are of equal lengths, the process may be terminated.

Nerve or soft tissue damages: This may happen if the patient lengthens more than the recommended amount by the doctor. Doctor’s instructions must be taken seriously in order to avoid such situation.

Note: To learn more about the possible risks of limb lengthening surgery and ways of treating complications, please ask your doctor.

Contact

You can contact us 24/7 and our patient consultant 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.

Phone: +90 531 988 30 90 (WhatsApp)
Email: [email protected]
Instagram: wannabetaller
Facebook: Wanna Be Taller
Youtube: Limb Lengthening Surgery
Telegram:  +90 531 988 30 90
Viber:  +90 531 988 30 90





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