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12/01/2017    Charles Morelli, DPM

Cosmetic Foot Surgery Riskier Than Other Cosmetic Procedures: NY Podiatrist

I certainly agree with our colleague Dr. Positano
that cosmetic foot surgery is riskier than other
cosmetic procedures, as we certainly do not walk
on our faces but the entire comment that follows
(from “experts”) has nothing to do with cosmetic
surgery nor does it paint an accurate picture of
podiatric surgery as it is done today (in my

Most cosmetic procedures performed on the foot
usually revolve around hammertoes or relatively
simple bunion procedures for the purpose of
fitting in shoes and looking more attractive in
open shoes. With the exception of an
arthroplasty, very few foot procedures involve
the complete removal of bone and I completely
disagree that these procedures will affect your
balance, the way you walk and your way of life
barring a severe postoperative infection which in
my experience is the exception and not the norm
and assuming the procedure(s) were performed

Dr. Positano then goes on to say that “opting for
surgery can lead to weight gain and restlessness
thanks to the weeks or months of recovery time
spent in a wheelchair”. A wheelchair for cosmetic
foot procedures? As he is a self-proclaimed non-
surgical foot and ankle specialist dedicated to
evaluating the majority of foot and ankle
problems, and then treating them non surgically
at the Hospital for Special Surgery (which I
never understood) perhaps this is the reason for
his perspective.

As a surgical attending involved with a residency
program for appx 15 years and practicing for 28,
I can count on one hand the times a patient has
needed a wheelchair for any extended period of
time, and it certainly wasn’t for a cosmetic
procedure. With the advent of knee walkers as
well as the IWalk 2.0 hands free knee walker,
most patients who need to be NWB can get around
quite nicely and I know of no patient who has
ever suffered from clinical depression from a
simple cosmetic procedure nor from a larger
procedure (excluding amputations, Charcot, Ex-fix
procedures and others) which certainly are not
cosmetic. On the contrary, a great majority of
patients are usually elated after seeing their
foot even one week postop with their deformity
reduced, their toes straight, tumor or spur
removed or their flat foot addressed. The list
goes on.

I certainly mean no disrespect, but these types
of articles do not further our profession and
paint foot surgery in a bad light. I know of many
podiatric surgeons who perform procedures
admirably and enhance the quality of their
patients’ lives, reduce their pain and an article
like that, published in the New York Post does
not further our cause on the medical frontier and
what we are working so hard to accomplish on both
a State and Federal level.

Charles Morelli, DPM, Mamaroneck, NY

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