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Author Topic: LL Vietnam - 6.5cm with Dr Quynh  (Read 378 times)

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iwanttobeabillionaire

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LL Vietnam - 6.5cm with Dr Quynh
« on: April 22, 2019, 07:29:19 AM »

Why am I writing this?

It has been exactly one year since I started my journey. I am writing this diary now to highlight my experiences doing LL then recovery in Vietnam over the last year, showing you what it has been like. It’s been a wild ride, but I have come out the other side satisfied with the results so far. I did not want to publish this during the lengthening process because I wanted to cut out any of the emotional, biased things I might say in the moment. Writing this now allows me to give a holistic view of the procedure and my experience with it without expressing all my daily feelings.

Moreover, these forums have helped me A LOT. One year ago, I had no idea about this surgery and once I found out, I knew I had to do it. The forums were extremely informational, and I was daily reader of all the posts/diaries. It was the first step into making what is possibly the biggest decision of my life.

My Stats

From the USA. Mid-20’s. I was 5’4.5 (164cm) and lengthened 6.5cm so now I am about 170-171. I’ll round to 171 for the ladies. My tibias were 37.5cm before the surgery so 6.5cm was well below the 20% threshold that’s often mentioned on the forums.

The Prologue

I started my journey in September 2017 when for some reason, I stumbled upon a youtube video about LL, which led me to a reddit post on someone who did LL in India, which then led to these forums. And thus, a can of worms was open.

Over the next few months, I read the forums every day, including many of the   posts. Based on many reasons, I decided to do it in Vietnam. I contacted the email given and was introduced to Thao. In January 2018, I visited the institute and met many of the patients there. This settled my nerves a lot as it showed me people at all levels of progress.

After a few more months of thinking about it, I decided to do it in April. I paid $18k USD for everything. Surgery, housing, food, medication, etc. It was convenient to have it in an all-in-one package.

The First 10 Days

My surgery was supposed to be on April 17th. However, after blood tests, it seemed I had higher than average liver enzyme levels which would prevent me from doing full anesthesia because it would interfere with the antibiotics. I was given medication over the next few days to lower them.

On April 20th, I did another blood test and it was still too high. I was given a choice to do it that day with only local anesthesia or wait until my levels were normal. I hesitantly chose the former.

This was probably the lowest point of my life so far. Got dressed, shaved my legs, and wheeled down to the surgery room with an IV. In the surgery room, I went into a fetal position so they could insert the epidural into my spine, which was the most pain I felt during the surgery. After a few minutes, I could not feel anything below my waist. They draped covers around me so I could not see what was going on. Thao was nice enough to play music for me through earphones. But over the next two hours, I could basically hear everything. The drills, the hammering, metal clashing against each other. I’m sure I shed a few tears. My mind was everywhere, thinking about everything, and yet I could not focus on anything.

Thankfully, that ended, and I knew I was at a point of no return. I was wheeled into the ICU where I spent the night. I video chatted a close friend who helped calmed my nerves. I did not dare look down at my legs that were covered.

The next morning, I was moved into my room where I would spend the next 10 days. I had a helper stay in the room with me and take care of all my needs. Brought me food three times a day, helped me go to the bathroom, bathe me, etc. The food from the institute was okay, not great but at least they provided all important food groups.

The first 10 days were rough. The pain made it hard to sleep for more than a few hours at a time. I would wake up in the middle of the night with random stiffness all around my leg. My toes kept flicking for no reason. Things started to smell because you’re constantly sitting in the same place. There were antibiotic shots every few hours in the butt and arm. Bandage changes every few days. Taking a #2 was embarrassing cause the helper was forced to hold a bucket under a special chair with a hole in it. I honestly spent most of my time watching Netflix. This was the time the Avengers came out so I pirated it and watched the Cam version more times than I would like to admit.

Lengthening

At the institute, you have someone bring you 3 meals a day, cleans your room and bathroom every day, and does laundry and changes sheets 2 times a week. The people who work there only speak Vietnamese except for Thao and one other person so you will probably need a translator app.

Apr 30
After 10 days, I was moved to the institute in a wheelchair and stretcher. It felt really good to have even the slightest freedom of movement over sitting in that hospital bed all day and night. As soon as I got to the institute, I learned how to use the toilet on my own. It was difficult at first as it required coordination with your hands and legs, and twisting your body holding a metal handle so that you could place your butt down.

May 3
I started lengthening about 1mm a day today. Thao showed me how to turn the screws and the amount of turns to do to hit the 1mm mark. I was also worried cause there was yellow fluid leaking from my pinsites to my bandages but apparently this is normal and that it is bone fluid.

After the first 10 or so days, the pain goes down a bit. I was sleeping fine, albeit not comfortably because I was forced to be a back sleeper with the frames on when I’m usually a side sleeper.

May 9
The physical therapist started coming today. He came twice a week to help you stretch out your knees and dorsiflexion and possibly stand if that’s what you wanted to do. I decided to not stand when I had my frames on.

May 20
I got my first progress X-ray today and these X-rays are given every two weeks. I liked getting this done because it was the only time you got to leave the institute and see the outside world. I had lengthened 1.6 cm by this point.

May 25
One of my pinsites started to hurt badly today. After evaluating it, it was an infection. The nurse started to change my bandages every day now over once every few days since I had the infection. You also get antibiotics to take.

June 9
Had another X-ray today. Left leg was at 2.8cm and right leg at 2.7cm. I was starting to slow down my lengthening as the pain started to spike.

Overall, the months with the frame on and lengthening is very slow and the most important thing is to be patient and consistent with your turning. I did not take medication for pain or sleep in the first month. If I needed it, they would give you paracetamol for the pain.

June 20
I would consider this period the beginning of the end. The pain was almost always present. I had burning, aching feeling. I started taking pain medication more regularly and it was very difficult to sleep lying down. They also changed my pain medication to a stronger tramadol instead of the paracetamol. Towards the end of having the frames on, the pain is significantly worse and I had to take pain medication every few hours to maintain. It was even hard to lie down so I slept sitting for at least a week. This period and the first 10 days is the hardest you will have to endure.

Frame Removal

I had my frames removed July 10th. This time I was clear to use full anesthesia and it was much better than the local. All I had to do was take a few deep breaths and then I woke up in the ICU with it all done. This felt very good that I did not have to hear the surgery but still the pain of waking up was bad, but it lessens quickly. I had to spend one night at the hospital before you move back to the institute. I was surprised by how skinny and long my legs looked after the frame removal. It felt great to have finished with the lengthening process, have free legs, and sit back and watch the World Cup.

Physical Therapy

After 10 days of have your frames removed, the physical therapist comes 6 days a week. For the first two weeks of physical therapy, we focused mostly on straightening out the knee, which couldn’t go past a certain angle. Mostly, the PT forces your knee down a little more every day and this is very painful.

After the two weeks of straightening, I began standing with the walker. My knees were not completely straight so the angle at which my legs and body were awkward so standing felt very awkward. Including the one hour with the PT, I stood for about 2 hours a day for the next week.

I took my first step with the walker Mid-August. Once you can start walking, the recovery moves a lot faster. After about a week of walking with the walker, I transitioned to using crutches. The toughest part of using the crutches vs. walker is that with the walker you can use your arms to force yourself up from a sitting position and do not need to worry about balance as the walker has 4 legs. With the crutches, you need to use more leg and knee strength and keep your own balance.

I used the crutches and shoe lifts for about 3 weeks. In mid-September, I took my first steps without crutches, but with lifts. Also, in mid-September, I moved out of the institute to my own apartment in the city, which I lived in by myself. I started going to the gym in my apartment every day and using the sit-down bicycle. In early October, I started going to the pool in my apartment. I was worried I could about doing this so I had a friend help me get there as I was afraid I may slip.

By the end of October, I was not using the crutches at all anymore. However, my gait was far from normal as I used a wide leg walking approach. Between the months of November and December, it was more of the same. I just walked everyday and went to the gym. My gait is close to normal now (10 months later) but still not 100%. I cannot run yet and going down the stairs feels awkward because I am not able to support myself well on one leg.

In late January, I was worried about my left foot as I did not have as much dorsiflexion as my right. I was worried I had dropfoot. After consulting Thao and the doctor, it appeared two of the tendons in my foot were sticking together. So I got a minor surgery, which was covered, to remove it. It took only 10 minutes and I was not sure if it would really help as I had read articles saying certain cases of dropfoot were permanent. I took physical therapy of my dorsiflexion seriously after the surgery and luckily for me, it is much better now.

I started working again in February. About 9 months after my first surgery. I had a few comments I was walking weird and brushed it off as I fell and injured my ankle. In March, I saw my family again. Surprisingly nobody really noticed besides a few that I had already told about.

It is April now. One year after the first surgery. My walking is back to normal, still have a somewhat difficult time with going down stairs, no dropfoot/dorsiflexion is strong, can’t run normal yet but can “move rapidly”. Like I mentioned, I have no regrets about the last year. It will be one of the most memorable by far. Overall, I am enjoying my life and noticing the benefits that height does give you.

Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to address them.

Pictures & Video
https://imgur.com/a/mWWob6y
https://imgur.com/a/3SSnibM
https://imgur.com/a/OvaeNJi
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jievince3

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Re: LL Vietnam - 6.5cm with Dr Quynh
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 08:27:31 AM »

How much money do you pay for it?
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Ghostfish

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Re: LL Vietnam - 6.5cm with Dr Quynh
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 09:04:40 AM »

Hi billionaire
Congrats on your great achievement!  That is really awesome!  I am very happy that your journey seems to be relatively smooth.
Wish you the best recovery!!
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prMaster

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Re: LL Vietnam - 6.5cm with Dr Quynh
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 12:39:13 PM »

The video is how many months after the surgery?
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25-M
Current Height 161cms
Expected Height 167cms

iwanttobeabillionaire

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Re: LL Vietnam - 6.5cm with Dr Quynh
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 03:25:19 PM »

paid $18,000 USD for the surgery. not cheap but not as expensive as some other options.
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iwanttobeabillionaire

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Re: LL Vietnam - 6.5cm with Dr Quynh
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2019, 03:26:08 PM »

video was taken in november. got the first surgery in april. so 7 months.
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iwanttobeabillionaire

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Re: LL Vietnam - 6.5cm with Dr Quynh
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2019, 03:28:10 PM »

thanks brotha. it wasn't easy. but i'm glad i did it. goes without saying that height has its advantages.
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iwanttobeabillionaire

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Re: LL Vietnam - 6.5cm with Dr Quynh
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2019, 03:29:11 PM »

also want to give special thanks to some people on this forum i private messaged and gave me advice..
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177cmm

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Re: LL Vietnam - 6.5cm with Dr Quynh
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2019, 05:11:10 PM »

Thanks for diary.
Wish u all the best in full recovering and future life.

Best regards.
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