It sounds like a bizarre form of modern day foot binding, but a growing number of stiletto-obsessed women are chopping off their pinky toes in a bid to fit in their favorite heels.
Surgical procedures like shortening of toes, foot injections and even removing the pinky toe altogether are just some of ways an increasing number of women alter their feet to make wearing heels a more comfortable experience.
"Unless you've been there, and you can't find shoes, and you're in pain, don't judge," Susan Deming, a patient who recently underwent a toe-shortening procedure, told Fox News.
Deming said that she used to love to wear heels and sandals, until it became too painful for her to wear them for more than a few minutes.
"I was having calluses, and just, all sorts of problems with my left foot. And there finally was a solution. There's never been a solution before," she said.
Experts from the American Podiatric Medical Association say that 87 percent of women have foot problems from wearing uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes like high heels.
For Deming, a few toes on her left foot were longer than the others, making her left foot an entire size larger than her right foot. Therefore, she decided to undergo a surgical procedure to remove centimeter off her second toe, and now she is thrilled and can't wait to finally wear high heels again.
"I've never felt this good about something I've done. If it's vain, it's vain," she said.
Other surgical procedures include removing bunions, injecting collagen or fat into the balls of the feet for extra padding, foot narrowing and even toe lengthening.
"It's as if they're walking on pillows when they wear their high heel shoes," says Dr. Nathan Lucas, a podiatrist in Memphis, Tenn. told Fox News.
Lucas, who sees nearly 30 patients a month, says that some women who want narrower feet have even asked him to completely remove their pinky toe, adding that an increasing number of women are now requesting the extreme surgery.
"For me, that's a bit extreme. I wouldn't take anyone's toes off unless it has to come off," he said.
However, Lucas admits that he has referred patients to doctors who will perform the removal surgery.
"It's on the rise here because the more people know about it, then of course the more they inquire about it," he said. "They seek to get certain things done, just because they didn't know it exists."
However foot experts at the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons advise against cosmetic foot procedures.
"Surgery performed solely for the purpose of improving the appearance or size of the foot or ankle carries risks without medical benefit, and therefore should not be undertaken," states the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, adding that surgery should never be performed in the absence of pain, functional limitation, or reduced quality of life.
Like all other surgeries, cosmetic foot surgery comes with the same risks and complications such as infections, problems with anesthesia, wound dehiscence, potential deformity and lasting pain.