I do. Havent seen a doctor about it since I was 14 or so, but had to go all the time as a kid. Last time I went they advised that they wouldn't like to do the operation unless it was getting really unbearable and affecting my ability to walk or exercise, because it would take me 6 months to learn how to walk again and there is always the chance that you never will.
Personally, I don't find it to be a big enough problem for me to bother with surgery.
I believe the insoles are much better than they used to be. When I was a kid they were made of sharp plastic and they used to make my feet bleed all the time. They were really inflexible too. And they did nothing to correct it. In my teens they had started making foam based insoles which were a bit better, but didn't really fit into my shoes very well. They wanted me to wear boots more to support my ankles and stop my feet rolling inwards, but they didn't actually fit inside any boots comfortably. Hopefully they have got a bit better since then. Let us know if your girlfriend likes them. I might go back to my orthopedic consultant if they are worth getting nowadays.
I personally believe that insoles just exacerbate the problem by not allowing the foot to move naturally. Similar to keeping a limb in a cast... the muscles atrophy and the limb loses mobility and strength.
My flat feet have improved a lot from walking and exercising barefoot. There's lots of info online about how to transition safely.
Surgery causes all sorts of problems. Scarring can cause permanent pain and itching. Also you are putting something artificial in your body! I personally wouldn't do that unless there was a serious, serious problem, like a broken bone that needed to be pinned back together. My mother-in-law has had surgeries on both of her feet, her knee, both wrists, and all she has is big bills. She seems to have just as much pain as she ever did.
Hi I have flat feet as well, i used to sprain my ankle at least once a month
For me it has improved by wearing the proper shoes, avoiding heeled shoes, i walk and exercise barefoot too at home, and basically keeping an eye on where i walk.
Personally i feel that operation should be avoided as much as possible unless absolutely necessary due to severe pain
You may wish to research on alternative exercise options which can improve the situation , if it can replace the surgery option