5 Procedures You Didn't Know You Could Do

6 Jan 2014 at 9:00am

There are certain forms of plastic surgery that everyone's familiar with. Millions of women and few men opt for face-lifts, implants, and liposuction every year. But did you know it's possible to shorten your forehead, shrink your cankles, and smooth your chin divots? Not to mention the latest Japanese craze at number five.

Here's our rundown of five cosmetic procedures you never knew you could ask for.


1. Forehead reduction

For anyone unhappy with a long forehead, there is an option. Forehead reduction, also known as hairline lowering, is designed to balance the proportions of your face, correcting congenital high hairlines, elevated foreheads resulting from other surgeries or, in some cases, age-related balding.

An incision is made within the hairline, and the scalp is pulled forward so that existing hair follicles are positioned at the surgical scar. This means your hair can grow through the scar, essentially hiding it and letting you style as usual.

However, patients are cautioned that for conditions like male pattern baldness, hair replacement surgery is the preferred method for restoring a full head of hair.

2. Toe shortening

Are your high heels too cramped for your toes? If you're looking for more cute and comfort in your Manolos, now you can have your toes surgically shortened.

ABC News reports that the procedure involves “actually dislocating the toe and sawing out a 2-millimeter chunk of bone.” Doctors then insert a titanium rod to connect the shortened bones. Most women are choosing to make the second toe shorter, but many are also having “pinky toe tucks”—the removal of fat from pudgy little toes for a more elegant pedi-profile.

A word of caution: These foot-fixing procedures may result in scarring, permanent nerve damage, or chronic pain. Make sure to consult a podiatrist or specialized doctor, as many plastic surgeons do not perform this procedure.

3. Cankle liposuction

Short, thick ankles, otherwise known as “cankles,” can be addressed with liposuction. Some surgeons have seen success with this technique, designed to remove excess fat from the lower leg for a slimmer, sexier ankle silhouette.

However, the ankle area is delicate, and this procedure is not widely performed. RealSelf plastic surgeon Joel Schlessinger, MD, said in an interview with NBCNews.com, “The ankle is a tough area. There's not a lot of fat there, but there are a lot of nerves and blood vessels, and the lymphatics that allow fluid to drain are somewhat less available in that area.” He adds, “There are so many other areas where tumescent liposuction performs brilliantly. But this isn't one of them.”

4. Golf ball chin

You know how your mother always told you that if you kept making that face, it would stick? In some cases, it's the truth—frequent frowners run the risk of developing “golf ball chin,” a dimpled texture that results from too much chin-scrunching.

The good news is, there's an option that's fairly inexpensive, and effective. “Botox and Dysport can be safely injected in the lower part of the chin to relax the mentalis muscle and create overall smoother skin in the chin area, with less pebbling and dimples,” said Dr. Leyda Elizabeth Bowes, MD. Though some doctors warn that the muscles may be weakened with injectables and the results may be difficult to maintain.

5. Bagel head

File this one under “bizarre, yet true.” The Daily Mail reports on a segment from National Geographic's Taboo, which spotlighted three people getting this procedure done. It involves a saline injection into the forehead to create a swollen area that's about the size of a bagel. Then a “hole” is created in the lump by pressing a thumb into the center.

The bagel head procedure takes two hours to complete, and only lasts 16 to 24 hours, until the body absorbs the saline and the swelling goes down. We're not sure what end goal is here, but John, one of the subjects followed by Taboo, said when he got a look at the results, “Oh sweet buttery bagels—I'm impressed! I look delicious!”

Do any of these procedures grab your attention? Have you had an unusual surgery to correct a problem spot most people don't know about? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments!

photo credit: Dr. Aharonov, boise lipo

Comments (9)

Please where can I get a doctor for an untreated craniosynostosis.... Am an adult 26...please some help me out. My email xxx@yahoo.com
  • Reply
-:- Message from RealSelf staff -:-

This comment does not follow our Community Guidelines and/or Terms of Service. We reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.
  • Reply
So I learned about another body modification that I thought was not possible: Permanent Colored Iris implants (NewIris by Dr. Delary Khan in Panama) are designed to permanently change the color of the eye. However, the reviews are poor on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T8HukjxpQg) and, unless you have ocular albinism, the surgery is not worth it because of potential complications.
  • Reply
ya the permanent colored iris implants can lead to blindness: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2012/01/16/iris-implants.html definitely not worth that kind of a risk
  • Reply
I think that the "bagel head" is more or less just one of those unique body modifications some people do for the adrenaline rush caused by altering their body temporarily. I'd put it in the same category as hook suspension and getting corset piercings. Not my cup of tea, but the reasons people give for trying them are always very intriguing!
  • Reply
OMG OMG!! the article totally fails to mention the most interesting of the unusual cosmetic procedures!!!! Cosmetic limb lengthening!!!!!!!!! A huge boon to any man under 5'10 and the technology used in the surgery is just amazing!!!! please let me post this link of a youtube 20/20 report http://limblengtheningdoc.org/media.html !!!!!!!!! If the link does not post, just google "Dr. Paley cosmetic limb lengthening surgery". What an amazing procedure!
  • Reply
Could we please invite Dr. Dror Paley to RealSelf? Perhaps he could ask some of his patients to start a review of the cosmetic limb lengthening procedure for us. I'd love to learn the details of the procedure from the patient perspective. Please please :)
  • Reply
Thanks for the suggested video and also I like your idea about invitation of Dr Paley. I'm positive sure this will be really painful to read but well appreciated by many of us looking to improve our height. Thanks again
  • Reply
I have to say...I didn't know about these procedures. The bagel head is making me hungry.
  • Reply