Lisa Ling at the Shanghai Height Increasing Specialized Institute
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Americans are no strangers to extreme plastic surgery, but while in Shanghai, Lisa learns about a radical new procedure that's gaining popularity in China—leg lengthening.

In this part of the world, Lisa says height is a sign of status, and oftentimes, it's a prerequisite for success. "Minimum height requirements are not unusual for many jobs, for admission to some colleges, even to land a date," Lisa says.

As medical technology improves, more people are going under the knife to have this painful, controversial procedure, which can help patients grow anywhere from a few inches to a full foot.

At the Shanghai Height Increasing Specialized Institute, Lisa meets Dr. Bai Helong, a Chinese doctor who modernized the leg-lengthening procedure. He says his patients want to be taller for many reasons.

"China has 1.3 billion people, so getting a job is quite difficult," Dr. Bai Helong says. "As a result, a short person not only experiences difficulty in getting a job, but also trouble in their marriage, love life, family, career and many other areas."

Jessy, a 27-year-old who's interested in undergoing the procedure, says she's willing to take a year off work to grow a few inches. Currently, she's 5'3''.

"I want to be 5'6'' or 5'7''. Just being tall makes me feel much confidence," she says. "I'm always jealous when I see tall girls walking around. I just want to be just like them."
FROM: Beauty Around the World with Jessica Simpson
Published on March 03, 2010

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