FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I prepare for the operation? Will the results be worse if I do not prepare?
Preparation allows your muscles, tendons and whole body to accept the 'shock' of the operation. Proper preparation and conditioning will make both the surgery and the healing period afterwards easier on the body and the mind.
Preparation for any stressful situation is necessary to help prevent unexpected complications. You would not write a university exam, run a marathon or climb a mountain without first training! If we do not 'tune' the body (as you would a car before a race), the resulting risks will be much higher, which can lead to serious complications or sequelae.
Furthermore, by properly preparing your body (and mind) before the surgery, you further increase your chance of obtaining the results you seek.
2. What exactly do you mean by pre-operative preparation? I do sports and I consider myself fairly athletic, is this good enough?
Although you may practice sport regularly, even strenuous ones, it is very likely that you will need further conditioning to prepare yourself for surgery. Only Olympic athletes in top physical, competition-ready form would be able to have limb lengthening surgery almost immediately. For this reason we require all patients to train with a personal trainer before their surgery. This will be discussed further when you have your consultation with us.
3. I was offered an external fixator. Can I get a nail?
In most cases, the Guichet Nail can be used in place of an external fixator. Furthermore, the long bones (femur, tibia , humerus) are ideal for lengthening using an internal nail.
4. I was told that my bone is not big enough, that there is associated axis deviation, or that my background prevents me from using a nail, and I can only lengthening using an external fixator. Is this right?
There are very few cases in which an external fixator would be more beneficial to limb lengthening then an internal nail. This is why a consultation with the Guichet team is so important; to discuss all your options.
5. How long should I prepare for surgery?
It depends both on your initial level of fitness and your desired outcome. During your consultation Dr. Guichet will discuss your optimal level of fitness before going into the surgery. It is important to understand that the more prepared for the limb lengthening surgery you are, the more successful your outcome will be. A body in peak condition will react better to the stress that limb lengthening places on it. This is also true of your mental state of mind. The more mentally and emotionally prepared you are, the more successful your outcome will be. A quicker recovery time is a result of thorough preparation.
6. Can I be guaranteed 10cm of length gain? I don't want to wait, I want this surgery now.
The amount you gain is dependent upon your body, your pre-surgery conditioning, your 'tolerance' to the lengthening procedure and your mental state. You are limited by what your body can tolerate. During your initial consultation, Dr. Guichet will assess what kind of length gain you can expect to achieve. If your body can tolerate an 8cm gain, but you want more, more preparation on your part will be necessary.
Dr. Guichet schedules your operation for when your body is able to tolerate a 10cm gain. If, however, you want the surgery immediately, you will have to accept that the amount of length gain you will achieve may be much lower then you wish. Furthermore, you must accept and understand that you risk of complications and sequelae will be much greater.
7. I do not want a consultation until right before my operation. Can I set my operation date before I arrive for my consultation?
Not only would it be unreasonable not to have a thorough evaluation before surgery, it would be extremely risky and dangerous. The consultation is important to discuss desired results, possible complications and what can be expected after the surgery. Any surgery without prior discussion with the surgeon would be like jumping from a plane in flight without first knowing how to use a parachute.
8. Is there a minimum length gain I can expect? I would like to have an idea before I book my consultation.
The leg lengthening procedure and outcome is body dependant; therefore we cannot estimate a minimal length gain. This is why a consultation is necessary. Everyone has different body and psychological capacities.
With this in mind, the average length gained in cosmetic lengthening is 6.8 cm or 2.67 inches (in a sample of over 100 cases).
9. How long will the lengthening process take? How long should I stay in Marseille?
It takes one day to gain 1mm of length. There are risks associated with the lengthening period, which is why you should stay in Marseille the entire time. Furthermore, by staying in Marseille, you will be better able to focus on your recovery.
As with any surgery, you must be prepared to stay until you are well enough to return home.
10. I want a lengthening surgery right now. Other surgeons are willing to do it for me now, why do you insist on a consultation and preparation first?
As stated in previous answers to similar questions; you must be prepared for the surgery for it to be successful and to lower the risk of complications. The 'shock' of such rapid bone growth in such a short amount of time is very stressful to your body. This is why preparation is necessary.
Be aware that many doctors or surgeons who offer to leg lengthening surgery without a prior, in-depth consultation are likely more concerned about getting your money then actually helping you achieve your height goals. This is a dangerous surgery and thus all aspects of it should be considered with your doctor before. It is important to do you research before you commit to a surgeon. What is their experience? What is their success rate? What have previous clients said? What is the clinic like? How many similar operations have they done before?
The Guichet Team is highly skilled and has extensive experience with limb lengthening. Dr. Guichet insists on his regulations for your safety and for your best interests.
11. How much does it cost to receive limb lengthening?
There are many factors that will affect the price of your surgery and the price of your stay during the recovery process. The cost varies by what you want (How many limbs? Which bone(s)? How much length wanted?) and what options you decide on.
During your consultation, you will be told the estimated cost of your surgery. Other costs to consider are; personal trainer, category of hotel or accommodations, length of time (the longer you stay, the more length you can expect to gain), the current exchange rate ect. An accurate quote with options will be delivered after your consultation.
Plan for higher costs then you initially anticipate. Use the remaining money for your next holiday!
12. I am of very short stature (woman; under 4'10.5" or 1.49m, men; under 5'.75" or 1.54m). Can health insurance or social security (CPAM) in France cover the cost of the surgery?
No. Health insurance only covers 'official' dwarfism (achondroplasia, Turner syndrome, etc.) or recognized discrepancy (generally over 1 or 1.5 inches). Otherwise it is considered cosmetic. Note that if you have health insurance cover the cost of the surgery under false pretense, you will be liable for reimbursement as well as a penalty (in France €15,000).
13. I was told by another surgeon that operating on both legs at the same time would be difficult and that it would be better to do one first, then the second. Is this correct?
No. Operating on one leg at a time means two separate procedures. Dr. Guichet's patients have only two to three surgeries in total (including the nail removal surgery) when he operates on both legs at once. By lengthening one leg at a time, you will spend twice the amount of time in surgery, twice the amount of post-operative pain and have a twice as long period of rehabilitation. There are no benefits in treating each leg as a separate case.
Studies on bilateral operations have shown that the cumulative risk of a two-step bilateral surgery is a 2 (1+1), while doing the two operations at once lowers the risk to 1.6. In other words, the more surgeries you endure, the greater your risk of complications both during and after the surgeries.
14. Will Dr. Guichet be my primary surgeon, and will he conduct the follow-up?
Dr. Guichet performs all of his leg lengthening surgeries himself, with the Guichet nail he invented. He also plans the individual and personalized pre-operative preparation parameters and operative parameters. He also monitors all of his patients post-surgery. By eliminating any "middle-man," Dr. Guichet minimizes risk of complications. As the most experienced surgeon in the world in the use of the Albizzia and the Guichet Nails, Dr. Guichet's customized controls prevent the "dilution" of responsibility for the procedure that occurs with multiple surgeons. Dr. Guichet works closely with a team of specialists (anesthetists, personal trainers ect) to ensure that the patient receives the best treatment before, during and after surgery.
Dr. Guichet also ensures that his patients can always reach him to answer their questions or offer support, as evidenced by their testimonials.
15. I found a surgeon who has not yet used your technique, but is willing to try to do it for me. Where can I buy the Guichet Nail?
The Guichet Nail is not currently available for use outside of the Leg Lengthening Clinic or by any other surgeon besides Dr. Guichet. Using an internal fixator is a difficult surgery and it would be extremely dangerous for a surgeon without extensive experience using the Guichet Nail to perform.
Although you may feel more comfortable receiving a surgery close to home, it is much less risky to travel to the Leg Lengthening Clinic for this difficult surgery.
16. I do not want to leave my city for the surgery. Can you recommend a surgeon who will use the Guichet Nail here?
As explained above, only Dr. Guichet and his experienced team are currently offering the leg lengthening procedure using the Guichet Nail. Highly demanding operations should only be done by teams experienced in the techniques and the possible risks and complications that relate to it. By being operated upon by the inventor of the Guichet Nail, you are guaranteed the highest level of success possible with minimum risk. For this reason, the Guichet Nail is only offered by Dr. Guichet and the Leg Lengthening Clinic.
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