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Short man has top secret surgery; lies to GF when she discovers his scars. AITA? UPDATED 3X.

Short man has top secret surgery; lies to GF when she discovers his scars. AITA? UPDATED 3X.


When this man is humiliated by his girlfriend's creepy discovery, he asks Reddit:

"I had secret surgery, and I lied to my girlfriend about it? AITA?"

Essentially what the title says. A little over 3 years ago, I went through the process of bilateral femur lengthening after a life of height related insecurity. Over the course of a few months, I went from 5'8.5" to a solid round 6'0".

It was... a bit gruesome at times, but I've been pretty much fully physically recovered for quite a while now, and ready to put this phase of my life behind me.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I don't think I'll tell a future partner. I look the same as any guy who's naturally taller anyway.

One of my most recent ex girlfriends has had a boob job, and I genuinely had no idea until she jokingly told me. Upon VERY close inspection I could see tiny incision marks, but they look and feel the same as any natural tits. That scenario is no different, in my opinion.

I've been seeing a girl since pretty recently, and we're really hitting it off. I still have somewhat obvious scarring especially on my right leg, and she asked about this the other day. I told her I had an accident as a child and left it at that and she didn't pry.

I absolutely do not want to have biological children for a variety of reasons, so the whole genetics aspect doesn't come into play. I don't feel like either of us would benefit from the full truth. Plastic surgery, especially in men, is frowned down upon enough.

So, that's my "off my chest" thing for tonight. I do feel a bit guilty for leaving out this aspect of my past in conversations, but it's probably for the best.

Before we give you OP's long update about his surgery, let's take a look a the top responses:

moltenplastic writes:

I think it’s a weird reaction. It’s a sad thing that shorter men are seen as unattractive. But 5’8 isn’t small, is it ? This reads as if you are ashamed to have undergone this surgery.

I would argue that it’s not sustainable for you, because you might have to lie on the long run, and it’s uncomfortable to keep secrets from your partner.

Aren’t you afraid to fall in love with someone, and eventually feel crippling anxiety that they wouldn’t be with you if you were shorter ? I hope you find someone you’re comfortable enough with to feel like you can share anything. It’s not that bad.

tumunu writes:

You don't really say in your post why you would want to keep this a secret, and I can't think of any reason. I mean, does it seem shameful to you, or something?

I don't agree with what you're doing, because I think in a marriage complete and open communication is vital to the relationship. Any serious relationship really, but especially if you're getting married.

And, if you marry this woman, there's a very real possibility she will find out. If she had never asked you, and she later found out, you could pass it off by saying you're very sensitive about it.

But if she found out you lied to her this entire time, how badly that could ruin your marriage is anybody's guess. It's your call, obviously, but if you two get closer, at least consider the possibility of telling her before she finds out. You can apologize and truthfully say she caught you off guard and you gave a first-thing-in-my-head answer.

"I had such insecurities about my height, I had surgery to be taller." Intimate, yes, but for a married couple this is the sort of stuff that I think is meant to be shared.

farths98 writes:

This surgery is literally barbaric.

And as we all know as we get older, our bones lose density, so wherever those incisions or breaks occurred will be significantly weaker than the rest of your bone. meaning as you age, you are more than likely to fracture those areas, and it will be unable to heal.

Don’t know if a few inches will be worth all that future pain and traumas coming your way.I hope you constantly take vitamin to strengthen your bones and muscles please!

keymonster writes:

If the lie comes out…that’s relationship ending for a lot of people. Rather than lie about the scars, it would be better to say that it’s something you don’t enjoy talking about but you’ll tell her when you are ready. Nobody comes right out saying they had plastic surgery a few dates in anyway.

So you hold off talking about it till you can build trust with your partner. Then when you are ready be honest with them about your past insecurities and struggles.

If this is someone you are marrying and building a life with they should be a safe and trustworthy person to tell this to. If they aren’t or it changes their opinion of you, then they aren’t the right person or worth committing to.

Insecurity and stigma towards plastic surgery exists with both genders. Hiding it makes it seem like you have done something shameful. You’ve done this and feel good about it.

So own it to yourself, close friends, and your future partner. In the very wise words of Dr.Seuss, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

stickylarue writes:

Why is it for the best? I don’t understand the need to be clandestine about it. Doing so makes it seem like you are ashamed that you did it.

Also, it really shocked me that you chose to go through this ordeal for such a small difference. It must have been a big deal to you for you to have done this.

Is it the potential for judgement that makes you not want to share a part of yourself? Because it is a part of your history and true closeness and acceptance will never come with another if you don’t share all of yourself.

I’m happy you are happy but the secrecy is odd. It’s just a weird thing to lie about. Not even an omission of truth but a straight up lie directly into the face of a person you care about.

moonsdog writes:

Oh will curse the day you did this as you age...or god forbid anything minor causes a snap. People with little medical knowledge can be an absolute danger to themselves.

I don't even know where to begin with this... It's barbaric, traumatic, imperfect procedure that will make your life hell in the future. And for what?? No one, in their right mind, ever thinks that is short.

Then again, no one in their right mind would ever do such a thing to themselves. This is NOT your every day cosmetic surgery...this is not on the same minor level as a lip filler, boob job, hair transplant etc. This is pure trauma for the body parts involved.

My dude, you need a long serious dose of therapy. Good therapy. Refrain from dating until you sort yourself out... because this is not a simple dumb lie like...breast implants or a little lip filler here and there...this is major trauma, major mental illness, and you planning on being deceitful will kill your marriage.

And this is not an IF, but a WHEN. Because this WILL come out, i promise you. And if you ever plan on keeping it a secret from medical providers, you are done for.

Let's take a look at OP's updates:

To be fair, my walking looked VERY different 6 months vs >2 years after I got this done. My latest x-rays showed that my bone density is the same in my entire femur now.

I appreciate your comment. I had just turned 23 when I got the surgery. I wish your son the best as well, and I hope he can get over his confidence problems rather than go through this process as well, honestly.

My right leg misaligned and I had to get that surgically fixed, so I have moderately bad scarring there. Leg lengthening surgery is so uncommon that no one has assumed that so far.

Yes, I'm fully pain free in my average day to day life. Though my legs do get tired/"achy" faster than pre-surgery if I'm on my feet a lot.

My right knee tends to randomly stiffen up as well, because that side was temporarily misaligned. That doesn't really hurt, it's just slightly annoying. Nothing that distracting and no lasting issues besides that.

It lengthened my legs by 9 cm, so very very slightly over 3.5 inches. 1 mm a day. That process was supposed to take exactly 90 days, but it ended up being 105 days iirc.

I had minor misalignment in my right leg which needed surgical fixing, and that ended up being quite unbearable so we did 0.5 mm a day for a bit as well.

To answer your last question, I feel like the bone aches were the worst, though my tendons did get incredibly stiff and I struggled with muscular soreness, cramping, contractions etc. I'd still say the whole thing was pretty manageable though. There are worse procedures out there.

To be honest, not really... mostly just simple PT exercises, gentle stretching and having to re-learn how to use my legs without putting too much weight on them.

I suffered insane muscular atrophy because of how stiff and tense everything was. Sorry to disappoint but you're probably gonna have stick figure legs for a while lol.

They generally just don't do more than maximum 3-4 inches per bone per surgery. Otherwise there's indeed a way higher risk of nerve damage, muscle tearing, etc.

If I REALLY wanted to be in the 6'3"-6'4" range, I could either get my tibias lengthened as well, or wait a few years to get my femurs done again once everything is 100% fully healed. The latter would probably look really weird, proportionately speaking.

FYI, it's been $25K for the initial surgery. $80K total for hospital/hotel stays, physical therapy, a minor revision, etc. Turkey.

The lengthening process itself took a little over 3 months. I had the metal taken out around the 6 month mark, and I could walk fine-ish by then.

Running, jumping and painless walking took over a year, and I had my last PT session around that time too. Looking back, maybe I should've continued with that a bit longer, but oh well. Lol. My wingspan is around 5'10", so my arms used to be a bit long and now they're a bit short I suppose?

My femurs are a bit on the long side in comparison to my lower legs, but no out of the ordinary proportions.

Well, my bones got about a millimeter longer every day during the lengthening phase, but muscles, tendons etc just... don't really catch up that fast.

Physical therapy was kind of awful just because of how tight and stiff my legs were. My range of motion has gotten a lot better now, besides mild aching when I jump I'm fine these days. I did have a minor issue regarding misalignment, so my right knee will cave in a bit until it'll probably readjust.

I'm not a very athletic person, but to answer your question, I can run fine if necessary lol.

I'm not necessarily "keeping" anything from anyone, just choosing to leave out a small era when talking about my past.

Maybe her surgeon did an amazing job, maybe I'm just oblivious and/or blind. Who the f knows.

Why? To increase my confidence. The procedure itself cost about $25K; I had it done abroad. That and a minor revision, physical therapy, travel, hospital/hotel stays, medications etc set me back a little over $80K.

I "walked" with a lot of assistance pretty soon. I had all the metalwork taken out after 6.5 months, and shortly after that I could walk fully independently.

I still have a little AMA on my page if you're interested in more details or something. I'm not planning on doing either; this whole recovery process has been awful enough already, and I'm just happy I broke the 6 foot border lol.

Well, my bones got about a millimeter longer every day during the lengthening phase, but muscles, tendons etc just... don't really catch up that fast.

Physical therapy was kind of awful just because of how tight and stiff my legs were. My range of motion has gotten a lot better now, besides mild aching when I jump I'm fine these days. I did have a minor issue regarding misalignment, so my right knee will cave in a bit until it'll probably readjust.

I'm not a very athletic person, but to answer your question, I can run fine if necessary lol.

I had a minor issue regarding alignment, so my right knee just naturally caves in now. I indeed also suffered A LOT of muscular atrophy. I had decent quad development pre-surgery, and stick figure legs a few months later. I've re built them probably 75% as of today, though.

The scars are almost completely faded on my left leg. But the right one has more scarring due to a small complication.

This isn't a really mainstream cosmetic procedure, so I feel like people are more likely to think "random accident" than "leg lengthening". I've never gotten accused of it, at least.

FYI, I don't meet the criteria of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I have a slightly heightened risk of arthritis because of this surgery. And my right knee caves in a bit because of a minor complication with alignment. I don't believe I'll have "extreme" issues down the line as I had no major complications.

This type of surgery has been around for quite a long time (though it's a pretty recent thing to be able to get it done cosmetically) and it's not like it permanently disables people.

Edit: and I obviously have a higher chance of breaking a femur if I happen to get in an accident. Previously broken bones are always a bit weaker.

I'm from the U.S. and had it done in Turkey.

Going overseas was mostly a decision out of impatience, honestly. Once I had my mind set on getting this surgery done, I wanted it as soon as possible, as recovery gets more difficult with age.

Most orthopedic surgeons had quite long of a waiting list. I did see one for a consultation here, but he wouldn't do it. So I decided fuck it and looked into other countries.

I ended up going with a reputable surgeon in Turkey, because he has a lot of experience with this procedure. Turned out cheaper than it would've been in the US too.

I was interested in the surgery since I first heard about it's existence at 17 or 18. My mother isn't really in the picture, but my dad especially strongly discouraged me from it. But he's 6'7" so I didn't really take his opinions into account. Most of my friends had a "whatever makes you happy" type of stance.

I stumbled upon an unexpected and large inheritance when I was 20. I'm privileged enough to be very financially stable. I'm employed but I had the financial means to take the entirety of 2021 and a bit of 2022 off work.

Valid question, my wingspan is about 5'10" so my arms used to be slightly long and now they're slightly short, proportionately. Nothing noticeable.

Definitely. Though I'm not 100% sure whether that's actually because I'm taller, or simply way more confident.

But I'm objectively somewhat attractive, considering my facial structure, body type, hair etc and always felt like my height was the only thing holding me back.

I do feel like women are generally more receptive of me Interesting question. I had my fixators removed a little before the 6 month mark, and stayed in a hotel next to the hospital until then.

The plane ride was quite scary honestly. I booked first class because I knew it would be super uncomfortable to have my legs bent at 90° for 12 hours. I was terrified of some sort of evacuation worthy emergency because I knew I wouldn't be able to run super fast. But none of that happened and overall I had a chill flight.

Like I said in my post, bilateral femur lengthening. There are two possible methods but I went with an external fixator device. I'm a lazy F so I never really played any sports lol. I can do everything fine now, but it took me over a year to walk without a limp let alone jump or whatever. Definitely a lot of patience required.

Not anymore. Besides maybe very very minor loss of range of motion compared to pre surgery. Some sore "pressure" type of feelings in my thighs if I go a bit too heavy on leg extensions or whatever though. Difficult to explain, almost like bone aches. My knees are a bit worse than they used to be as well, not sure what that's all about.

They get quite stiff if I sit in one position for too long, sometimes lock up. Mild weakness there but I'm working on it and it's still improving. Nothing that really affects my day to day life. I used to be slightly north of 5'8.5", now a round 6'0".

Long, mainly. The process of lengthening itself took a little over 3 months, but recovery and PT way longer. Took way longer than I expected to be able to walk unassisted. Everything was fine around the 1.5 year mark. For most people it's like half of that but I had minor complications in my right leg.

It looks like OP is NTA. Any advice for this man? What would YOU do in his situation?

Sources: Reddit
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