By Denise Mann
It’s been said (and read) that toes are the new nose, and recent media reports suggesting that actress Sarah Jessica Parker, perhaps best known for her role as fashion-loving Carrie Bradshaw on HBO’s Sex and the City, has suffered foot problems as a result of her infatuation with all things Manolo and Choo is likely to fuel an even greater interest in foot plastic surgery.
We know women won’t be quick to give up their stilettos.
Women want to look sexy in their high heels or strappy sandals. In fact, toe jobs have been dubbed “Loub” jobs after shoe designer Christian Louboutin and his signature high heels.
Soft-tissue fillers can cushion the blow of high heels, and the increase in foot plastic surgery does dovetail nicely with the rise of the of the 6-inch heel.
But that’s not all that women seem to be doing in the name of foot beautification. Some are having their toes lengthened, clipped, or removed. Others are opting to have their feet narrowed. Others still are signing up for foot and toe liposuction or fat grafting to their feet.
Plastic Surgery Practice spoke to the podiatrist who put aesthetic foot surgery on the map, Suzanne Levine, DPM of the Institute Beaute in New York City, to get a handle on what is really going on out there.
“There is an increase of interest in the foot,” she says. Levine trains doctors interested in aesthetic foot surgery, and has definitely noticed a growing number who want to get in on this trend.
So what do women want for their feet and why? It is about form and function, she says.
“A lot of women want pillows for their heels to help then wear high heels.” Infrared therapy can also tighten the skin and get rid of swelling so ladies can look and feel better in heels. She also uses lasers to wipe out toe nail fungus.
It’s not just about cosmetics, she says. Most people also want to make sure their feet don’t hurt too. “It’s about pain-free feet with a glamour tinge.”
Her motto? “Treat the feet the way you would your face. We need our feet, and most of us don’t think about them until they hurt.”
Levine considers herself a moderate when it comes to the treatments she will and won’t offer. “I won’t go to the extremes of removing toes or liposuction to the foot,” she says. But if someone has Morton’s toe, arthroplasty can reduce pain, and allows women to wear heels.
First, Do No Harm
Not everyone is on-board with cosmetic foot surgery. The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society states that it is risky business. Foot complications including permanent nerve damage, infection, bleeding, scarring, and chronic pain when walking may occur. According to this group, “Cosmetic foot surgery should not be considered in any circumstances, and the Society does not condone its practice.”