Workers from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta are paying $75,000+ to be taller, a surgeon told GQ.
The Las Vegas-based surgeon can lengthen patients' legs via a painful months-long process.
He breaks the thigh bones and inserts nails that are extended every day for three months.
A Las Vegas cosmetic surgeon specializes in leg-lengthening procedures that can grow people's height by three to six inches, according to a new GQ profile.
And many of his patients are tech workers.
Kevin Debiparshad founded LimbplastX Institute in 2016 and the clinic's business has boomed during the pandemic, he told GQ.
Here's how it works: the doctor breaks the patients' femurs, or thigh bones, and inserts metal nails into them that can be adjusted. The nails are extended a tiny bit every day for three months with a magnetic remote control, GQ reported.
It can take months to slowly lengthen the bones and then for the legs to heal. One software engineer told GQ he spent the first three months after his surgery alone in his apartment and ordered delivery food during that time to go from five feet six inches to five nine.
The procedure costs $70,000 to $150,000, depending on if the patient wants to grow three, four, five, or six inches, per GQ.
The common denominator of Debiparshad's client base is that they are wealthy, but they vary by profession: GQ reports that he's treated CEOs, actors, and finance employees. And a bevy of high-earning tech workers - mostly men but also some women - have come to him for the procedure.
"I joke that I could open a tech company," Debiparshad told GQ."I got, like, 20 software engineers doing this procedure right now who are here in Vegas. There was a girl yesterday from PayPal. I've got patients from Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft. I've had multiple patients from Microsoft."
The surgeon said he doesn't recommend the procedure for athletes since it could decrease their ability, and many of the patients that GQ spoke to said they don't tell people that they had the procedure done.
Stigmas around plastic surgery for men have begun to fall away in recent years. Cosmetic procedures performed on men went up 325% from 1997 to 2015, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
And within Silicon Valley specifically, plastic surgery has become a way for male tech workers to reach peak "personal optimization" in recent years.
The Washington Post reported in January 2020 that men were turning to Botox, fillers, laser treatments, and techniques meant to stimulate collagen in an effort to get ahead in their careers.