From peep-toes to sexy sling-backs, some women are obsessed with squeezing into fancy footwear.
Some are so taken with shoes that they’ve gone to extremes to look better in them, going under the knife to change the shape and size of their feet. Call it Cinderella surgery.
The surgeries can involve removing ugly bunions, painful corns or changing the length of toes. There’s even liposuction for toes to make chubby toes slimmer.
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Dr. Suzanne Levine, a New York City-based podiatric surgeon and author of “My Feet Are Killing Me,” does a version of this surgery to keep her patients out of pain but still in heels.
Her patients often “have long second toes that are much too long and don't fit into shoes properly and cause corns or painful inflamed bursas … but the majority of my patients, their feet are also hurting,” Levine said.
Angela Roy, a real estate broker in New York City, sought Levine out for surgery in December.
“I hated my feet. I was really embarrassed by the bunions,” Roy said. “I was really embarrassed by the corns and I just hated getting a massage. Hated anything that exposed my feet.”
Speaking about Roy’s treatment, Levine said, “When she came in, I think the challenge was that her foot was rather wide. It couldn't fit into some of her shoes.”
Levine added: “Her foot did not exactly match her overall appearance. She said that she felt she was perfect up to her ankle.”
Six months after her full treatment, Roy is thrilled with her new feet.
“They look so much better and I'm not shy at all with my feet,” she said.
Not all doctors think cosmetic surgery for the feet is a good idea. Dr. Rock Positano, a New York foot specialist, is among them.
“To take a foot and to take a foot that’s functioning relatively well, and run the risk of causing other problems I think is ludicrous,” Positano said.
Levine maintains that her patients come first for pain relief, and second for cosmetic reasons.
For Roy, being able to slip into her favorite pair of Louboutins made the pain of surgery well worth it.
“Now I don’t have to squeeze into them, like really squeeze into them,” she said. “Now I just kind of go in, so like a glass slipper.”