Calves and Ankles Liposuction


Liposuction of calves and ankles aims at re-contouring them to achieve shapely legs, tapering down to slim ankles. The problem of fat legs is more common in women. The condition in which the ankles do not taper down but bulge along the calves’ line is generally termed as cankles. This thickness either may be due to excessive weight gain or can be genetically induced.

Patient Eligibility for Calf and Ankle Liposuction

It is the same as that for a standard liposuction procedure. Some specifics for ankles and calves are detailed below.

The fat distribution in the legs is categorized as circumferential and localized. The circumferential heavy legs do not have distinct pockets of fat cells and the leg in general is defined as fat. The localized category has noticeable lumps of fat in the lower calves and ankles. Liposuction of calf and ankle is performed on people with moderate extra fat.

The lower leg is mainly made of muscles and tissues. Therefore, the amount of fat should be correctly assessed to make the ankles and calves liposuction less complicated and avoid the risk of tissue damage. A pinch test may be undertaken to evaluate the fat deposits. The lowest pinch test outcome for calves and ankles must be around 2cm & 1cm, respectively. If the heaviness is due to muscles rather than fat, liposculpture is of little use.

People with a history of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) should avoid ankle and calf liposuction, as it may lead to life threatening complications.                                     

Liposuction of Ankles and Calves

The process is a short one and is often complete within a couple of hours. It is commonly performed under local anesthesia. Minute incisions are made on each side of the Achilles tendon and tumescent liposuction or laser lipo is performed. Surgeons often favor a combination of tumescent and laser techniques, where the earlier one is used for the main liposuction fat removal and laser lipo is employed for the final touch up to achieve a shapely and chiseled look.

After Liposuction Recovery and Care

Post-surgery discomforts include minor bruising and inflammation in the treated area. The swelling may continue for a few days. The open drainage of incisions helps reduce the swelling.

The patient needs to wear compression stockings for 1-3 months, as the doctor prescribes. This minimizes swelling and aids in an infection free healing. Slow walking and feet elevation also support open drainage and help curtail the swelling. Some doctors also advise manual lymphatic massage. The downtime is very short and routine activities can be resumed within a week. The results shape up finally after approximately 6 months.

Risks of Liposuction Ankles & Calves

Although this is a minor surgical procedure, the patient is vulnerable to the common health complications associated with liposuction. Below are some risks specific to the liposuction of ankles and calves:

  • Vascular Injury: Lower legs and ankles are generally comprised of fibrous muscles and bones, instead of fat and skin. Therefore, there is an augmented risk of sub dermal tissue and blood vessel damage.
  • Scarring: Due to less skin in the ankle, the chances of scarring are high.
  • Knee Tissues Trauma: The area behind the knee encloses vital muscles & nerves that are more susceptible to injury from aggressive cannula movements. Care should be taken to avoid reaching this region.
  • Blood Vessel Injury: Patients with the problem of varicose veins or spider veins run a high risk of injury to the blood vessels. In such cases, vein stripping should be performed at least 3 months prior to liposuction.
  • Excessive Liposuction: May cause serious venous injury.