The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NY Podiatric Surgeon Disapproves of Bunion Operation for Cosmetic Reasons

Posted by on Monday, April 28th, 2014


It may be unusual to hear a podiatric surgeon tell you to not to have an operation performed. After all, doesn’t he stand to profit from the surgeries he or she performs? In truth, ethical surgeons strive for the best patient satisfaction scores and most favorable outcomes by carefully screening candidates prior to surgery.

The NY Times recently reported on the craze for “designer feet.” They mentioned how Beverly Hills podiatrist Dr. Ali Sadrieh specializes in cosmetic procedures with names like “the Cinderella procedure” (translation: a bunionectomy) or “the Perfect 10!” (translation: toe shortening). One can even ask for a “Model T” (toe lengthening) or a “Foot Tuck” (fat pad augmentation). While he admitted it first seemed a little vain, he now has no qualms about cashing in on women’s desires to fit into smaller shoes or have more beach-worthy feet.

foot surgery risks
Aesthetic foot surgery is becoming more popular, but it’s not without risk.
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“The desire for women to get into fashionable shoes is a major driving force into getting foot surgery to narrow feet and shorten toes,” explains Dr. Josef Geldwert from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. “However, our doctors caution against doing surgery purely for aesthetic reasons because 1-3% of foot surgeries can be disasters.”

There’s No Guarantee with Foot Surgery

Surgeons would like to tell you there is a 100% chance your bunion will go away and never return. Unfortunately, as with any medical procedure, there is no guarantee how the body will respond to such an invasive intervention.

According to Podiatry Today, complications from bunion surgery may include:

– Loss of correction

– Delayed union

– Joint stiffness

– Nerve entrapment

– Excessive shortening

– Hardware failure

– Swelling

– Infection

– Deep vein thrombosis

– Complex regional pain syndrome

The best a podiatric surgeon can tell you is that bunion surgery works most of the time. Complications are rare, but they do happen from time to time, which is why it’s important to consider other treatments before insisting upon bunion removal, especially if the deformity is not causing you any pain or discomfort.

If Not Bunion Removal Surgery, Then What?!

The most important factor is that you have a foot that feels comfortable and functions.

Some of the nonsurgical bunion treatments to consider include:

– Getting fitted with custom orthotics to relieve tension

– Wearing a bunion bootie, splint, or pad

– Choosing roomier footwear that won’t irritate

– Receiving platelet-rich plasma injections to stimulate natural healing

– Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication or Paracetamol

bunion surgery
New techniques make this view of “traditional bunion surgery” dated. We can operate without unsightly scarring and with quicker recovery time. Even so, bunion surgery should not be taken lightly.
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When to Consider Bunion Surgery

Bunion surgery should really be reserved for patients who have explored other options to no avail. The bunion should be large, uncomfortable, painful, and get in the way of everyday activities. First and foremost, a trustworthy foot surgeon strives for pain relief and deformity correction to help you prevent the bunion from altering your gait or causing you problems down the road. Yet, a good NY foot surgeon will also take appearance into consideration and strive to leave patients satisfied with the look of the final result.

“Our foot surgeons are keenly aware of the importance of the integration of beauty and function, and have been in the forefront of providing innovative and effective procedures for the correction of unsightly and painful Bunions,” explains Dr. Geldwert.

“They haven’t coined ‘cutesy’ names for these procedures, but we have been using procedures that have predictably high rates of success for over 30 years,” he adds.

Foot surgeons at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine have been employing the most up-to-date techniques for minimizing scars, realigning painful and ugly feet, and getting patients quickly back on their feet and into their footwear of choice.

If you want to put your feet into the hands of experienced foot surgeons whose mission is to allow their patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle, then book your appointment at our Manhattan or Westchester, NY, offices.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.