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Cinderella Surgery Trend Puts Women Back In Their High-Heels

Jenn Fusion | May 13, 2014 | Posted in Body

Cinderella Surgery High heel shoes are an almost unhealthy obsession for some. For others, it’s a necessary fashion for work and social functions. We all know these shoes can inflict serious pain and even long-term damage upon our feet, but we wear them anyway. Problems like bunions, hammer toes, corns, calluses, fallen arches and swelling can take their toll over the years.

Then there are women who have just always felt self-conscious about their feet for one reason or another. It could be fat toes or wide feet that dissuade some people from wearing cute, strappy sandals or walking on a sandy beach barefoot. Now women can feel more comfortable and truly put their best foot forward, thanks to a rising trend known as Cinderella foot surgery.

What is Cinderella surgery?

The NY Times ran a story about Cinderella foot surgery last month, citing a Beverly Hills podiatrist specializing in “vanity surgeries” for feet. Cinderella procedures are bunion corrections with osteotomy and screw fixation. He also offers “Perfect 10!” surgery – toe-shortening, “Model T” – toe lengthening, and a “Foot Tuck” – which adds fat to the pads of the feet for more comfort when wearing heels. Women who want to wear their Christian Louboutin, Nicholas Kirkwood and Manolo Blahnik shoes without distress are lining up around the block for these foot operations, according to cosmetic foot surgeons.

Cinderella surgery pros

Possible benefits of Cinderella foot surgery and other cosmetic foot procedures include:

  • Improved comfort: Claire Hosman, a heel-lover considering cosmetic foot surgery, told America Now News, “At this point I’m desperate and would try anything. By the time I come home, it’s practically agony.” She explained that she can’t even drive in her heels and added that she can’t switch to more comfortable shoes because she likes the look of high heels. “Until you walk a mile in someone’s shoes, you don’t get it,” she said.
  • Better shoe choices: NY designer Cathy Hardwick said she had bunion surgery done for cosmetic reasons. “It was unsightly and it hurt when I wore certain shoes,” she said. “My foot is perfect now. And I can wear sandals I couldn’t wear before.” Imagine walking into a shoe store and never having to worry about them not having your size again.
  • Confidence boost: “Let’s face it: image is important and cosmetic surgery is here to stay,” California surgeon Vladimir Zeetser, MD, told Shape Magazine. “With television shoes idolizing young, hip plastic surgeons and reality shows chronicling patient experiences, it is clear that people are obsessed with beauty and glamour.” He explains that the surgery does, in fact, diminish pain and improve mobility – even if the initial rationale for surgery was purely aesthetic.

Cinderella surgery cons

Of course, not everyone is thrilled about the portent for cosmetic foot surgery. Orthopedic surgeons specializing in operating to correct pain and deformity strongly feel that patients should not take surgical procedures lightly. “The desire to get into fashionable shoes is a major driving force into getting foot surgery to narrow feet and shorten toes,” Dr. Josef Geldwert of The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine acknowledged. “However, our doctors caution against doing surgery purely for aesthetic reasons because 1-3% of foot surgeries can be disasters,” he commented.

“All surgical procedures contain risks including, but not limited to, wound problems, infections, nerve injury, recurrence of deformity, post-surgical pain, and scar formation,” said Donald R. Bohay, MD, a member of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS). He adds, “There are also risks associated with anesthesia.  Post-surgical complications could lead to an inability to walk or wear shoes comfortably.  In deciding when to proceed with surgery, a patient and surgeon must consider all the risks and benefits of a procedure.” The position of the AOFAS is essentially that surgery should only be used to provide pain relief, improve function, and enhance the quality of life.

The bottom line

“You know what they say… ‘if the shoe fits, wear it.’ And if the shoe doesn’t fit, then let’s discuss your options,”  says Dr. Thomas W. Loeb of Manhattan. As with any surgery, the pros and cons unique to each patient should be discussed with a highly skilled foot surgeon. To learn more about cosmetic procedures in NYC like Cinderella foot surgery, call 212-327-3700.

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