The procedure can cost £80,000 – but increasing numbers of people are putting themselves through leg-lengthening surgery. What drives them to do it? And is it worth the pain and potential complications?
As a teenager, Lewis hit 5ft 5in (165cm) and stopped growing. He would be almost 4in (10cm) shorter than the average British man; in fact, nine out of 10 men would be taller than him. When he plucked up the courage to go out, he wore stacked heels. He resented the way dating apps encouraged height discrimination. “You’re a great guy – you deserve to be taller,” one woman said. At one point he went on antidepressants.
I speak to Lewis the day after Rishi Sunak, who is reported to be 5ft 6in, becomes prime minister. He’s seen all the usual jokes on Twitter and elsewhere. “I believe it’s one of the last prejudices that is seen as acceptable,” Lewis says. “It’s interesting that people fixate on something you can’t change … Well, at least I thought you couldn’t.”