The Man Who Got The World’s First Cosmetic Limb Lengthening Surgery Tells His Story
Note: Languages are often translated to spell things and say things differently. Michael is known as Mikhail
MY TOULON, OR LIFETIME ADVENTURE.
1988. Business trip. Evening in Moscow. I am sitting on the sofa close to a most pretty girl. She is 22, just graduated from colledge. I am a 38-year-old engineer. A “trip” love affair is at its height. Her face expresses admiration mixed with curiosity, she is stroking me with her hands in tender haste, encouraging to continue my speech… And I pontificate:” …At school you learned little about Napoleon, he was such a rare personality, you know, who managed to tame the destiny…A role model for ambitious men of the world…He began at his 24, when he fought as a junior officer of artillery of the French Republic.
There is a seaport – Toulon in France. At that time it was taken over by rebellious royalists supported by the Englishmen, and there was no chance to get them out of there. And Napoleon presented his plan of seizing the city by one attack to the commanders, and they had no choice but agree, but on condition that he would be in charge of everything himself, and if it did not work, he would be taken to tribunal and shot.
Nevertheless, he managed that, and at once a lieutenant was appointed a general and was brought to Paris… There he proceeded with his career, became an emperor of France. So am I, I have an idea. I’ve been promoting it for two years… It only needs to be tested. If an experiment works well – Toulon is taken over… My Toulon”.
I didn’t tell her then – what the idea was. In fact, there was no need to talk about that. We were seeing each other for one and a half week, and I’d already impressed her more than enough. Not for nothing were we sitting in her apartment while her parents were away for the weekend in their country house. I was simply bursting with a joyful hope and I had to splash out a bit, it seemed that the goal is already within reach! Oh, how wrong I was then, and later again and again… for four years.
The idea came to my mind two years ago, when a “School of Growth” from Moscow became widely known all over Russia. A doctor was offering to all who wishes a method, according to which, if one kept a special diet and did exercises similar to yoga for a year or two, at any age he would be able to augment one’s height unlimitedly (!). Again, while my business trip to Moscow, I dropped in this “School” to satisfy my curiosity, and found there a huge line of people from all over Russia aged from 14 to 60 (!).
I must admit that 170 cm (5.6 feet) of my body did not suit me, that is why I took an active part in talks of people in the line. We ardently discussed all rumors, cases and myths concerning the subject, rushed with questions to those who were coming out the “School”, having done another set of a wonder-gymnastics… A year later the “School of Growth” went bankrupt and disappeared, no miracle happened. But the thought about lots of people who wish to grow up settled firmly in my mind… It’s just a world market!!
Later I found plenty of new information. Several times, while reading newspapers and magazines, my eye caught articles devoted to innovation research of orthopedic surgeons, and here and there I ran across reports about lower extremity stretching performed on the people who often did not have any trauma. That sparked my interest, and I addressed local, volgogradian orthopedists … The information they gave me was a surprise, as it turned out, such operations were being performed for a long time on persons of restricted growth and on those whose one leg is shorter than the other from birth, there existed routine practices. The risk of postoperative complications was vain, and there was no official interdiction to perform such operations on common people for cosmetic purpose!
Right away I suggested performing such an operation on me. And then the doctors told me a story, that at the end of the 60-s the great Dr. Ilizarov ( a Russian orthopedist, who discovered that if separated by a special device, the fragments of broken bones of arms or legs would grow together forming a new bone, for that purpose he invented a special device. Before that broken bones were only shifted together for the coalescence, though in case of compound fractures it lead to the shortening of arms or legs) quite successfully augmented the height of some student and nearly got to prison for 10 years charged with experimenting on a healthy person.
That fact inspired me, and I stared to press for permission to repeat Dr. Ilizarov’s experiment on me. In ministries and departments I was treated politely and faced no refuse, they spoke to me with interest, but gave no permission: “As there is no interdiction, address to doctors, not to us”… I started seeing to doctors, frequent business trips across Russia assisted that, I visited all orthopedists everywhere… But doctors had their own answer: “…We don’t mind, but an official permission is necessary”. I was shuttling from doctors to officials and back, that had become my hobby… however, there were encouraging moments as well. In 1989, in Zaporogje, I presented my idea to Dr. Devjatov, Anotaliy Andreevich, who was the head of orthopedic department there and a follower of Dr. Ilizarov. Dr. Devjatov told me to come back in autumn to undergo an operation.
I called in September and was shocked – Dr, Devjatov died from heart attack in Leningrad, on his way back from Finland. Let him rest in peace, he was real man. In distraught I started to work with public.
I began to address students in Volgograd, they signed a petition petition to make our deputy go to the Health Minister and get the permission. The deputy handed in a sackful of signed petition during the parliamentary session, but the Minister gave no answer. It was such an experience for me that in 1990 I ran the election, left behind 5 other candidates and became a deputy of the city Council. In autumn of 1991 it seemed that luck smiled me again, I made an arrangement for an operation in Moscow with a famous orthopedist from CITO (Central Institution of Traumatology and Orthopaedy), the idea appealed to him greatly. We arranged everything , I came at he fixed time and was hospitalized to CITO, spend a week there waiting, and then the doctor appeared dreary, bidding excuses, as the academic council of CITO had refused the permission to operate.
That was the moment when I was stuck by a tough depression. I left CITO, and found nothing better that to call that old Moscow girlfriend: “…I’m not a Napoleon; I’m a piece of shit…” Later in the hotel I got drunk dead, and went home in the morning. I though that was the end, I’m 40 – too late for dreams.
But probably God loves dreamer! In March 1992 my friend, a businessman suggested me talking to a orthopedist from Volgograd, who offered to sell the results of his research. So went to see him, he was a Master of Science, and told him: “Who will by you research? There are such inventors in almost in every clinic with no chance to apply their own ideas, I saw that with my own eyes…”. I said so, and then told him about my idea. And he – proposed to put it into practice! Three days later he performed an operation, only wrote some obscure diagnosis to prevent the higher-ups from interfering. I awoke after the operation, the device was on my leg, the general condition was, naturally, just as after anaesthesia, but my heart was singing. I wish everyone to experience such a condition at least once a life. That was happiness in pure form! Further – about a year spent in hospital. There was all, I mean, sweat, blood and tears, but when one’s soul was soaring, all the rest is just a trifle.
In March 1993 I left the hospital, having stretched my legs by 6 cm (2.36 in). By that time, there had already appeared some reports in the local mass media, so that when I came to the meeting of the City Council, where I was not present for a year, I sparked a furore, all the staff, almost 200 people. Crowded around, ones asking questions, others measuring height with me. That was the first time when I felt like Napoleon after Toulon.
After that, for about four moths I learned to walk on the “new” legs. Muscles were adjusting to the new bones, and I was working out my balance, as the centre of gravity had shifted, at times I was turning jerkily and was falling, especially on stairs. That is why the gait of teenagers, who are growing fast, is wobbling and uncertain. Meanwhile, my doctor informed me that the same technology was suited for healthy persons, for curved legs straightening and that it was very easy and took only 2 months. So it was time to work – to find sponsors and to open the public eye on for new opportunities.
I left the factory, in 1993 the City Council was dismissed, for a whole year I was in search for a suitable job; sometimes I had no money even to buy food. They it all sorted out somehow, my legs returned to a normal condition, a friend gave me a job in his company; I started to earn some money.
And an idea sparked again. I had augmented the height, what about rejuvenation? I had read a book by PhD. Nikolaev, in which he told that his patients, persons with bad health, while treated by starvation diet, incidentally experienced sudden rejuvenation of the organism. I connected the PhD. Nikolaev, we arranged my visit to his clinic in Moscow for an experiment. So I came and was starving safely at Nikolaev’s for 18 days, lost 12 kg (26.46 pounds).
When I left the clinic, I got to physical training, and restored everything I was able to perform on both horizontal and parallel bars while in the Army, then began to do push-ups on fists, so that in four months l was able to perform 120 push-ups at a fast pace. The standard for US Army officer of special troops is 50 push-ups of that kind for “Excellent”.
Several times, in the evening, I dropped in discos, and the young took me for a person of the same age, saying that I looked not more than 26, and I was 44 years old at that time.
In 1996, France Press agency contacted me for an interview as I was the first healthy person in the world, who had surgically augmented his height in mature age with a cosmetic purpose, afterwards, this report was published by many well-known western periodicals, the references are available here , besides, now I’m constantly appear on all the russian TV channels in talk-shows, what is more, two documentaries about me were shot. My doctor is now showered by invitations to share his experience in foreign orthopedic centers, he has visited the US, Sweden, Lithuania, Germany, and his method is now known all over the world as Russian cosmetology.
I also proceeded with my career, upheld the first in the world thesis on “anthropometric cosmetology”, took out more than 40 patents for inventions. And I was marked in the Russian book of records “Divo”, as the first person in the world augmented his height with a cosmetic purpose, and when I got acquainted with the representatives of the Guinness Book, they even got angry because I had not addressed them in time to state the record, but it was impossible at that time as my doctor and I started the experiment secretly.
If there are any questions for me, please send them on the address firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. In December 2004 my doctor – 52 year-old Michael Yegorov, suddenly died from cancer. Nevertheless, what is left is the Center of Anthropometric Cosmetology that he created, his team of surgeons, his talented followers.
A Few Thoughts
This guy who was the world’s first cosmetic limb lengthening patient got his surgery done back in 1992. Ilizarov started to slowly perfect his external method starting in the 1960s. It took him 30 years to get all of the technical details to work out. Now it is 2014. It has been ONLY a little over 20 years since the LLS was made public. Not only that, this Goldreyer guy had to consistently complain to the Soviet Government to allow him to go through with the surgery. The whole process took him a full 4 years to execute due to soviet government beaurocracy and red tape.
To the Readers
You guys who are still in your teens and early 20s, you have no patience. The technology has only been around for 20 years. Biological and medical discoveries and breakthroughs take a lot of time, unlike computer and software innovation.
Wait it out, and let the researchers and scientists do their job. We have come a long way since Mikhail got his surgery by Yegorov.
Maybe, just MAYBE all the readers will need to wait another 20 years before the stem cell approach will be ready for commercial use by the general public. By that time, I will be close to 50 years old, but I will at least be proud to have been able to push the human race a little further.
I don’t intend to get the surgery, but I want to be part of the endeavor, to realize that this ancient wish within almost all short statured men and women will finally be within reach for anyone. Before the 1990s, there was no options available. Now in the 2010s we have multiple online discussion board where its members are comparing dozens of surgeons who are qualified to perform it and have great safety records. That is really amazing!
I want the readers to stop complaining over the price, over having to wait years for it (because it will take years), and live their lives. Come back in 5, 10, 15 years and see how much will have changed. Based on my recent post on how Kurzweil’s Law and Amara’s Law will triumph over Murphy’s Law over time, I would guess that the stem cells approach will be ready in 15-20 years. Most of us will be much older by then, probably have spouses, multiple kids, even divorces, bankruptcies, and everything else in between. However, as long as the human race can keep moving forward in technological progress, we will get it. If you can’t get LLS alternatives like Stem Cell Implantations, can you at least be happy that your future children will have that type of opportunity, in case nature and genetics are not that kind to them?
My suggestion – Go out there and make your millions, and come back.
Goldreyer found himself completely broke after his surgery. he got over 2 inches in height but the result was he used up all his money. Be smart and make your money first, and get the increased stature later, when you are financially secure and can throw money around for the luxuries in life.
Cosmetic Surgery is a Luxury. Remember that, it is not a Right or Entitlement.
We might maybe feel that it was never supposed to be our fate to be as small as we did end up. We may feel like god cheated us out of our birth right to be considered big and strong. Life is not fair. We can only work with what we have in front of us and what is available at the current time, which has much more options than our grandparents or parents ever had.
To read more on this guy, click the link below…
THE MOSCOW NEWS “A MAN GROWS BY ONE MILLIMETRE A DAY ” JULY 30, 1993 – Copyright 1993 Moscow News – Moscow News – July 30, 1993
A man grows by one millimetre a day – BYLINE: Irina FROLOVA,
An international centre of anthropometrical cosmetology*) is being organized in Volgograd. Now every healthy person needs only one or two years, a certain amount of will and some money to become beautiful.
Only a couple of years ago the idea of a certain concern specializing in transforming ordinary people into beautiful women and handsome men evoked an ironic smile. Today many of former sceptics (including VIPs) are eager to buy the concern’s shares or at least make friends with its organizers in order to secure a place at the future clinic.
The prospect of substantially improving one’s good looks is in itself alluring. But the evil fairy of beauty demands, besides gold and silver, such sacrifices as labour and patience. Complete restoration requires about two years. At first psychotheraputists and sports medics strengthen the patient’s general health (those who wish may be weaned forever from the habit of drinking and smoking). After that vigorous exercises will prepare the body for serious tests in endurance.
The first to attack the deficiencies will be dentists who will replace bad teeth with flawless articificial implants (made at the Kharkov Stomatological Institute). After that cosmetology surgeons will correct the nose, ears or chin, remove folds of fat and make other necessary plastic operations. After that there will be another short course of health building preparatory to the treatment of the skin. In Volgograd they plan to use prolonged fasting under doctors’ control. It will get rid of unnecessary kilograms and rejuvenate the skin. The organism also becomes more responsive to physical loads, so it will be possible quickly to build up muscles after the course. Included in the project is also a course of treatment of pathological balding and various methods of improving the quality and structure of hair. During the final stage of the programme the patients will be cured of something no one else attempts to do anywhere else in the world: the form and length of bones. Minor corrections will give them slender and beautiful arms and legs, and they can also grow seven-ten centimetres taller. These operations will be made by specialists of a new and promising branch of commercial medicine, known as anthropometrical cosmetology.
Gavriil Ilizarov began to lengthen his patients’s legs back in the 60s. The gravest congenial or acquired bone pathologies were corrected within a couple of months. The same method may be used without much difficulties to lengthen the legs of a healthy person. This, however, was forbidden by instructions of the Ministry of Public Health, so doctors refused to operate on healthy people even for great remuneration. They were intimidated by the sad experience of their teacher. About 20 years ago Professor Ilizarov yielded to the persuasion of a student and helped him become taller. The experiment was successful but the doctor nearly landed in the dock. The pretext for his prosecution was the absence of a state permission to conduct experiments on healthy people. Since then the specialists of the Kurgan orthopaedic centre and of all of its branches have been treating only people who were really sick. Yet every surgeon has had to break the senseless taboo at least once in his life. One of Ilizarov’s first and favourite pupils, Anatoly Kaplunov told an MN correspondent a typical story. He conducted a “prohibited” cosmetic operation in 1978. His patient was Lena S., a nine form schoolgirl whose legs were crooked from birth. Another girl could be reconciled with her destiny and meekly carry her cross. But Lena was tortured by her acquaintances and attempted to take her life several times. She was saved by a surgical operation. And two years later the charming, slim and long-legged Lena S. invited the doctors to her wedding.
Five years ago Mikhail Goldreyer was an ordinary electrician at the Volzhsky Tube Factory. Before that he got acquainted with the problems of short men anxious to increase their height.
Mikhail was inspired by the idea of transforming the achievements of Russian orthopeadics into an official and profitable branch of modern medicine. As is often the case, nobody believed in the project’s reality, especially when Goldreyer wanted to become the first healthy patient of Ilizarov’s disciples.
To begin with, the 42-year-old man decided that he should grow taller than his 170 centimetres. To this end he interviewed all prominent orthopeadists in the country. He worried officials of the Ministry of Public Health, appealed to the conscience of people’s deputies and sought ideological support at the Philosophical Society of the USSR and even the Komsomol Central Committee. He resorted to all thinkable and unthinkable methods, from actions of students’ protest to an open political rostrum (since 1990 Goldreyer is a deputy of the Volzhsky City Council.
The problem was solved by time. The Union disintegrated, and there was less official pressing on medics. In the spring of 1992, candidates of medical science Anatoly Kaplunov and Mikhail Yegorov, performed, to Mikhail’s great joy, an operation on a healthy man. The words “lengthening of the shin” oppeared for the first time in a patient’s card.
A year later Goldreyer came to Moscow to demonstrate to the top medical authorities his shins which had grown by six centimetres and became obviously straightened. In a year’s time he will rejuvenate his skin with the help of fasting and build up his muscles. After a series of plastic operations and the acquisition of a Hollywood smile Mikhail intends to lengthen his hip bones. Doctors are in no hurry about the second operation which, they think, will upset the body’s proportions. But Coldreyer can’t wait to become a live advertising sample of a new branch of medicine.
The entire operation lasts an hour and a half under local anaesthesia. It is absolutely bloodless and almost stitchless. It is, incidentally, monitored by a computer on a special programme. The bone is no longer crushed by a chisel. Through four cosmetic incisions the surgeon does, with the help of special wire an accurate Z-shaped saw cut (M. Yegorov’s invention). After that the leg guided by Ilizarov’a device grows by one millimetre a day. Long hospitalization is not necessary (the patient must spend at the hospital the first 7-10 days). The patient may grow at home because he remains capable of walking. It takes only 2-3 months to correct the form of legs, and one can increase one’s height by 6 centimetres in less the half a year.
Mikhail Yegorov is in charge of a division of the orthopaedic centre of Volgograd city hospital No.3 where they work by Ilizarov method. He manages to put on their feet very difficult of even hopeless patients, first of all because he is a unique engineer surgeon. He has patented more than 20 inventions. He designs apparatuses and devices which help bones accrete after grievous wounds.
It has always been especially difficult to treat patients whose fragments of bones were absent after wounds. The methods employed previously were ineffective, since alien bones accreted badly. Yegorov found a fantastically simple solution. A special device helps grow on the healthy leg a bone tissue of the required size. After that the young bone is implanted where necessary.
Several people who wish to grow come to Yegorov during his reception hours. So far, however, it is very difficult to help everyone, to make the method work as an assembly line.
*) Anthropometrical cosmetology (from Greek “anthropos” – man, “metron” – measure, “kosmetike” – the art of beautifying, “logos” – science) is a science of making a person beautiful through changing his bones. (From a modern dictionary of foreign words).