‘Toe-besity’: Cosmetic surgery procedure makes ‘fat’ toes look slim

Sheryl Nadler
Shine On

If you grimace every time you glance down at your feet, if the sight of your toes brings to mind a certain prehistoric male cartoon character, if you're having trouble squeezing into that toe ring, you may be suffering from "toe-besity", according to at least one New York-based podiatrist.

Dr. Oliver Zong recently appeared on Good Morning America to explain how and why he performs a toe-shaping procedure, designed to slim down "fatty" appendages, reports ABC News.

The toe-slimming procedure is drawing criticism from at least one member of the American Podiatric Medical Association who says toe surgery should only be performed for medical reasons.

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"You're undergoing risks -- there's the risk of anesthesia, infection, deformity of the toe if the surgery is not done right, a risk of reoccurrence and the risk of surgery in general," Dr. Hillary Brenner tells ABC News. "It's trauma to the foot."

But Kimberly Poliziani, practice manager at the Hamilton Plastic Surgery Centre, sees things differently.

"If it's going to build and improve the self-confidence of an individual, I'm all for it," she says. "But toes — we all hate our toes. I think I have Fred Flintstone toes."

The medical community in Canada is fairly close-knit and specialists tend to respect each other's areas of expertise, says Poliziani. For that reason, she thinks a person would have trouble finding a plastic surgeon willing to perform cosmetic surgery on feet. The patient would almost always be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, instead.

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And while her clinic tends to specialize in breast and face procedures, she says they do receive some rather unusual requests.

"One of the newest and biggest requests that's really big in Europe is the buttock implant," says Poliziani. "That's been huge and I don't know if it's because everyone wants to be like Jennifer Lopez."

Her clinic also receives requests for people wanting liposuction below the knee, female genital bleaching, and removal of fatty deposits in the pubic area.

In keeping with the tradition of physicians respecting each other's specialties, they tend to refer patients looking for buttock implants, genital procedures and lower leg liposuction to other doctors who specialize in those areas.

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