Liposuction is a consistently popular cosmetic procedure that removes pockets of stubborn fat. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) 2018 statistics, liposuction was the third most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed by its member surgeons.
Although the abdomen is the most popular area of the body targeted for liposuction, the procedure can be performed on almost any part of the body that has not responded to positive changes in diet and exercise habits. This includes the hips, thighs, back, and buttocks. However, many people may not immediately think of the knees, calves or ankles as areas of the body that may also be aesthetically improved by liposuction.
Primary Reason for Calf and Ankle Liposuction
Calf, ankle, and knee fat are even more resistant to diet and exercise when compared to other problem areas, and sometimes they are even unaffected by non-surgical methods. This is often due to a condition called lipodystrophy, or the inability of the body to control the growth of fat cells in certain areas. This leads to an appearance akin to a shapeless blob as the fat builds up and starts sagging on the ankles and calves, resulting in an unpleasant aesthetic appearance that makes you appear heavier than you actually are.
These fat deposits are also not weight-dependent, meaning they can manifest regardless of your age or general health. The condition is also often hereditary; the collection of fat over a long period of time can lead to additional issues such as lack of balance, or weakened joints and Achilles tendons. The unsightly appearance and functional problems often lead patients to seek a solution, liposuction first and foremost among them.
The Technique for the Calves and Ankles
Due to the fibrous nature of the knees and ankles, I prefer to utilize tumescent liposuction. Tumescent fluid is a mixture of local anesthetic and epinephrine, which numbs the target areas and causes them to swell. The increased size of the area greatly lowers the risk of damage to these otherwise sensitive areas.
Calf liposuction is slightly trickier due to the possible bulk in the calf. In these cases, I use ultrasound or low-level lasers beforehand to help melt the fat, making it easier to remove. Liposuction can be done alone, or in conjunction with a body contouring procedure to remove loose and excess skin and tissue after the fat removal.
After the Calf and Ankle Liposuction
The procedure will immediately reduce the circumference of the target areas, but the bruising and swelling will remain for 3 – 6 months. This is due to the increased number of blood vessels in the knees, ankles, and calves. I highly recommend that patients move around and take light walks as soon as possible in order to improve circulation and prevent blood and fluid from pooling in the extremities.
Your legs will look slender as bruising and swelling disappear. The final result will be a well-contoured lower body that not only looks better but also weighs less and causes less stress. Liposuction for the knees, calves, and ankles will give patients the confidence to show off their legs along with the rest of their body.
*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.