…And This Little Piggy Went to the Operating Room

"You're certain this won't hurt, right, Doc?"

“anything for shoes. ANYTHING.”

It seems like every day we wake up to another plastic surgery trend, another body part that everyone is clamoring to shove under the knife. In the latest round, the plastic surgery fad du jour growing in popularity has to do with women’s feet.

According to current plastic surgery statistics, surgeons from NY to L.A. are reporting an increase in women requesting surgery on their feet. To correct medical issues that are painful and disfiguring, like bunions? No. So that they can fit their little (or big) piggies more comfortably into designer shoes? Apparently. Of course, doctors are complying. Now, most of us can relate to the fact that some of the most amazing shoes we’ve ever seen or worn aren’t super comfortable and sometimes even hinge on being downright dangerous, but is plastic surgery the solution?

Well, some people obviously think so. The treatments range from getting filler injected into key pressure points like the ball of the foot, to operations designed to shorten the toes… or lengthen them.

For women who experience chronic pain from wearing those tottering stilettos too much, the fillers (which are generally used to correct loss of volume on the face) can supposedly relieve their pain and improve their experience wearing heels. (Because, of course, switching to flats just doesn’t seem to be an option.) When you wear heels all the time, the downward pressure generated by our friend gravity causes all your weight to hit the ball of the foot instead of being evenly distributed. The natural fat pad that resides in the ball of your foots can actually move out of place, allowing the bone to get irritated. Fillers like Radiesse can be injected to provide immediate comfort and can also stimulate the foot to increase its natural collagen production. Supposedly, the procedure is painless (how? We don’t know about you, but our feet are some of the most sensitive parts of our bodies). However, due to the relative newness of this procedure, long-term effects of the procedure aren’t really known.

Okay. We can see how injecting filler as a way to alleviate pain can be a good idea. As for changing toe sizes, now… that’s a little more intense. To shorten the toes, doctors surgically remove chunks of bone, and full healing takes about six weeks. The opposite procedure aims to correct a condition called brachymetatarsia, which causes people who suffer from it to have abnormally short toes. The procedures involve lengthening the toes by surgically adding a bone graft, or by lengthening the bone over a few weeks by stretching it out and bracing it to allow healing. Ouch. Since when did plastic surgery involve throwbacks to the Spanish Inquisition? Believe it or not, many women are enduring these procedures to both fit into specific designer shoes and to look as good as possible while doing it.

Granted, the majority of the foot work that’s getting done has to do with pain caused by things like bunions and hammer toes, but the rise in popularity of these surgeries proves that aesthetic drives aren’t far behind. What do you think? If there were a pair of Manolos that were a matter of life and death to you, but your piggies were just too tiny to rock them the way they were meant to be, would you undergo the knife (or the rack) for “the sake of fashion?” Or would you scoff and turn back to your favorite pair of Keds? We know what Carrie Bradshaw would probably do, but what about you?

Let us know in the comments below.

(Image credit: The Marquise de Brinvilliers is tortured, by Charles Lebrun)

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