A man had excruciating waist-lengthening surgery to get taller – and grew five inches taller.
Feeling insecure about his 5ft 5in height, Moses Gibson tried medication and even contacted a “spiritual healer” in a bid to pop up.
When nothing was working, the desperate 41-year-old decided painful surgery was his only option, which involved breaking several bones in his body.
He managed to add an extra three inches to his height in 2016 through surgery, but seven years later he had a second round and uses a waist-enhancing device.
Moïse, who spent a total of $165,000 [approx £133,000] on both operations [first $75,000, second $98,000]hopes to feel “free” by reaching his goal of 5ft 10in by June.
He struggled with ‘heightism’ in his love life and constant jokes about him being ‘short’, but now he has a newfound confidence and has found himself a girlfriend.
Moses, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, said: “I struggled with the height, I don’t know if heightism is what they call it, but being on the shorter side for the men.
“Even when I was in high school, I was still unhappy with my height.”
“It started to get to me gradually. “I just didn’t feel good about myself, I was unhappy with it most of the time.
“I used to like clothes and shoes, but I started not feeling happy when I put them on and I wanted to look better.
“It was my confidence in general, and with women. It affected my love life. I used to put things in my shoes to get a little height, but it wasn’t a lot .
“People made comments. Sometimes it wasn’t mean or intended to hurt, but they were saying ‘shit man, you’re short’ or joking about it.
“I’m a strong, tough guy, so I’ve never been depressed about it, but I’ve been looking to see what I can do about it.
“I bought drugs online that promised to get you the size you were looking for. I took them for a while before I realized it was nonsense and stopped them.
“I was talking to an online spiritual healer via email who promised he could solve any problem. I tried talking to them to see if they could help but they just said ‘it all depends if you believe it”.
“When I got to college, I found this procedure on the internet and I knew right away it was what I wanted to do.”
After working for three years as a software engineer during the day and an Uber driver at night, the “go-getter” managed to save $150,000 for the operation.
Last month’s ‘painful’ procedure broke Moses’ tibia and fibula bones and screwed magnetic limb-lengthening nails into them.
Moses now has to use a waist-lengthening device three times a day that spreads the cut bone a millimeter at a time.
This encourages his body to create new bone tissue, which will fill the void until the desired height of 5ft 10in is reached.
Moses said: “After the first procedure, I was satisfied with it to some extent, but I always had in mind that I wanted to do the second to complete it.
“I’m a high performer, I’m a go-getter, so after the first one I thought, with all the heterogeneity, I have the money and I can finish the trip.
“I spoke with the doctor and asked for three more inches.
“He said after the second operation it was a bit more difficult, so two inches would be more reasonable.
“So I’m looking to move up to 5’10. I’ll be happy at 5’10. If my body and everything lets me go three inches [5’11] then even better.
“I came in at 7:30 a.m. and at noon they were waking me up from surgery.
“They give you strong painkillers because there are times when it’s really painful and you have to work on it.
“You go home and you have a week or two for healing before the device starts to lengthen.”
According to the NHS website, a leg-lengthening process known as distraction may be an option for those with particularly short legs.
Using surgery, the leg bone is broken and attached to a special frame to stretch it, allowing new bone to form between the two broken ends of the bone.
Over time, this bone strengthens until it is able to support your weight.
Distraction can sometimes result in a significant increase in size, but it is a long treatment and carries a risk of complications, so is not always recommended.
Some people experience pain during or after the limb lengthening procedure and other possible complications include poor bone formation, fracture, infection, bone lengthening at an inappropriate rate, blood clots.
There is also some uncertainty about the safety and effectiveness of the procedure, so it is important to discuss the risk with your surgeon or doctor.
After his first surgery, Moses became less nervous by wearing certain clothes such as shorts, and now has a girlfriend because talking to women has become easier.
Moses describes how he can live more “freely” as people no longer comment on his small size and would encourage anyone in a similar situation to have surgery.
Moses said: “[After the first one] I became less hesitant and less worried about the outcome when talking to women. I now have a girlfriend.
“I started wearing shorts and taking full body shots, which I’ve never done before. It’s a crazy thing that no one should feel that way.
“It’s about me as a person and how I see myself with height. In my mind, when I’m done with that part, I can just be free.
“I won’t worry about my size anymore. I’ll be happy with what I have.
“There will always be bigger people, but it will just be something that I don’t care about anymore.
“From a young age I just wanted to be normal or average height. Not where your friends look at you and say ‘man, you’re really short’.
“It was my dream just for that [those kind of comments] go away.
“People who said ‘you’re short’, they don’t see it anymore. Even though they don’t know there’s a difference, they ask me if I train.
“I would advise anyone who wants it to go, it’s definitely worth it.
“I really want to spread the word and if it can help other people through this, then never mind, I’m happy.”
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