‘Cinderella Surgery,’ New Plastic Surgery Trend, Allows Women To Alter The Size And Shape Of Their Feet

Cinderella surgery
A new form of plastic surgery specifically for feet allows women to alter the shape and size of their toes in order to fit more comfortably inside shoes. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

A strange new form of plastic surgery has emerged, which gives women the chance to adjust the shapes and sizes of their feet — hence the name “Cinderella surgery.”

The surgery can involve shortening or lengthening toes, removing bits of feet so they’re at a more “flattering” size, or injecting some fat into the soles to create an “insole” sensation without having to buy inserts. Other women get surgery to fix “high heel foot” — when your foot begins to mold into the shape of a high heel due to constant high heel use, or repairing “hitchhikers toe.” Other women want to correct what they see as “toebesity,” a term coined by Dr. Oliver Zong, founder of NYC Footcare.

Zong said that it was mostly toe shortenings in the beginning, but now customer demand has led to nail re-sizing, "foot facelifts," "toe tucks," and foot narrowing.

Many of these women wanted to adjust the shape of their feet in order to make certain designer shoes more comfortable or fit better. "Foot beautification is definitely a trend and many of these foot concerns are directly related to the shoes we wear," Wendy Lewis, an author of books on plastic surgery, told Shape.

However, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society and the American Podiatric Medical Association have made it clear that they are concerned about the trend, noting that it can be dangerous and ultimately harmful. "Patients who undergo these procedures may do so believing that a 20-minute operation will enable them to wear more attractive shoes, when, in fact, they may be risking 20 or more years of disabling pain," Rock Positano, a podiatrist and Director of the Non-Operative Food and Ankle Service at HHS, said. Doctors and podiatrists warn that cosmetic foot surgery is a "public health problem that arises from pressures on women to be stylish."

However, advocates of the trend believe it's here to stay. “On the surface it looked shallow,” Dr. Ali Sadreh, a podiatrist in Beverly Hills, said. “But I came to see that my patients need these shoes to project confidence, they are part of her outside skin. That’s the real world.”

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