PHOTOS: The Distressing Worldwide Boom in Cosmetic Surgery
Photographer Zed Nelson traveled the world documenting how body improvement has practically become a new religion
- By Joseph Stromberg
- Smithsonian magazine, October 2012
(Zed Nelson / Institute)
As cosmetic surgery has become more common, new uses for established procedures have emerged. In China, the Ilizarov procedure—which was originally developed to lengthen the legs of dwarves—has become popular for people who simply want to be taller (an Ilizarov procedure in Beijing). By severing the shinbones and stretching them apart with an implanted metal frame, up to three new inches of leg bone can be grown, but the operation comes with risks of deformation and weakened muscles.