SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - An Australian politician, who had bone-stretching surgery to become taller, has admitted to having the painful procedure done eight years later, saying she was self-conscious about her size.
Hajnal Ban, a local government representative in Queensland state, spoke to reporters about the procedure after local media linked her to "God Made Me Small, Surgery Made Me Tall," a book she wrote under the pseudonym Sara Vornamen and which detailed her insecurities about her height.
"I wanted to be taller. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of it," Ban, who was 154 cm (5 feet) before surgery but is now 162 cm (5 feet 3 inches), told Reuters. "I had an insecurity and the means to fix it."
"This is no different to having breast augmentation or nose procedures," she said.
In 2001, Ban, now aged 31, spent more than eight months in a Russian orthopaedics clinic, where doctors broke both her legs in several places and inserted wire rings as part of the bone-lengthening procedure.
Tired of being taunted at school and called names such as 'midget', Ban said she traveled to Russia for the procedure because it is not performed in Australia.
"It basically required one year from the time I had my operation to the time I could walk out in heels again," she said.
Limb lengthening procedures are usually used to help people born with deformities rather than for cosmetic reasons.
Reporting by Pauline Askin, writing by Miral Fahmy, editing by Valerie Lee