The Problem of Fat Ankles and Calves –Cankles
Many women have a thicker layer of fat around their ankles and calves that is commonly known as “cankles”. Although this area of the body is of tremendous concern to the women who have it, there still seems to be very little discussion and information to help those who suffer from this cosmetic problem.
From a beauty perspective, the accumulation of fat in this area can cause a major embarrassment for those women who want to wear shorter skirts, shorts, or swimwear. Having cankles takes away from the natural tapering or slimming of the lower leg as it progresses downward. Cankles therefore ruins a woman’s figure even if the upper thighs and buttocks are slim. Women with fat on the ankle area have a hard time wearing the high heels or other fashionable footwear that completes the rest of the wardrobe.
Although this topic has been addressed by different beauty sources such as Marie-Claire, Shape, and others, as well as The Doctor’s show, there is still a poor awareness that most women have about the only true solution to this problem. At Artistic Lipo, we continue to see patients that come to see us years after suffering from this problem and tell us that they wish they had known about liposuction of the ankles and calves sooner. After having liposuction of this area, their lives are usually changed dramactically. Hopefully, this information will help women understand what will and won’t help them.
What Causes Fat Ankles, Calves, Cankles
Genetic Predisposition of fat accumulation – The most common reason for fat ankles and calves is the genes that our parents pass onto us. Unfortunately, this is something we have little control over. Our bodies were predesigned with the order to retain fat as a survival mechanism. Where the fat is to be stored is not up to us. Some people store fat in areas such as the belly, hips, or thighs, while others tend to have more localized areas around the ankles. When we have fat in these areas it is not normally something that goes away easily. The clue to whether your problem is genetic is to ask yourself, does your mother or sister have this problem also. If the answer is yes and you have had thicker fat in the ankles all your life, then chances are you have a genetic predisposition to this. You also have the ideal problem for liposuction to cure.
Swelling or Fluid retention- Other women have thicker ankles and calves that comes and goes getting worse occasionally. Some women notice that this problem is worse at the end of the day, or after they have been walking or standing for long periods. These women are more likely to have fluid retention in the ankle area. Causes for fluid retention can be benign or can signify a medical problem.
If you are young and healthy this is probably a benign gravity related phenomenon that occurs when your body naturally retains more water. This could be after ingestion of more salt and fluids. It also affects some women around their menstrual periods and is related to hormonal fluctuations. Other circumstances can be due to pressure changes such as flying on an airplane. These different causes are usually temporary or fluctuating.
If you are middle aged and have noticed this more recently without any of the exacerbating factors, then you should visit your physician and have a medical checkup to ensure that you don’t have one of many different medical problems that can cause ankle swelling or edema. It is easy to tell if the thickness is fat or fluid swelling. Fluid swelling “pits” easily when you press your finger down on it. It will leave an indentation compared to fat which usually bounces back quickly.
Why Working Out is not a Solution to Cure or SlimCankles
We have all been led to believe that working out a particular area of the body will get rid of the fat in that area. This perception has been promoted by numerous television advertisements for different devices or work out routines to target different body parts. What is true is that the muscles of a certain area can be targeted, but the fat cannot. When our bodies burn fat, it goes from deposits we have all over our bodies. That is why even a ten pound weight loss can sometimes be hard to see. It is also why bulges on the belly and waist don’t seem to go anywhere even after a million situps and pounds lost.
The truth about workouts is that it generally will not make a dent on the calves and ankles. Yes, there are work out routines that you will find on the internet and in magazine articles if you search hard enough, but there is no science to support this and you probably wont see a before and after photo showing a true slimming of cankles.
Why Diets for Cankles Don’t Work
Similar to working out, dieting does not and cannot target specific areas of the body for fat reduction. Hopefully this makes sense since our bodies burn and get rid of fat in a general distribution. Maybe if you lose a significant amount of weight, some will come off the ankle region, but only a small percentage.
Liposuction Surgery is the only Cure or Solution for Slimming Calves and Ankles and Cankles
Liposuction is a surgery where tiny incisions are made on the skin and a thin instrument is used to remove the fat from the layer just below the skin and above the muscle. Liposuction can be done practically anywhere on the body where there is fat just below the skin surface and can safely be done in the ankles and calves also. Because liposuction is removing the fat directly, what is removed is permanently gone. It is true that any remaining fat cells can enlarge, but the fat reduction is generally very lasting. It is then up to the surgeon performing the liposuction to do it in a complete, smooth, and well blended fashion as a sculptor would do. Anything else would result in a lumpy or incomplete result.
Having liposuction of the calves and ankles, therefore, does what no other method is capable of, spot reduction of fat. It is for this reason that liposuction is effective in stubborn pockets on all areas of the body and is a good solution for those areas that working out is not helping.
How is Liposuction done at Artistic Liposuction
Awake Tumescent Liposuction is one of the most common forms of liposuction done today. Compared to doing liposuction under general anesthesia, a patient is awake and areas being treated are numbed with a local anesthetic only. Dr. Su performs all his liposuction surgeries with tumescent awake anesthesia only. This produces much better results.
Benefits of awakevs general anesthesia – The biggest benefit of awake liposuction is its safety. When a person is put to sleep and on a ventilator, there are more risks to the blood pressure, the heart, and nervous system. The surgeon also has a time limit because the longer you are under general anesthesia the more risk there is. Therefore, surgeons try to use larger more aggressive instruments that cause more trauma, bleeding, and soreness afterwards.
Besides the increased safety of patients being awake, there are also many benefits related to the artistic outcomes that are improved. This is explained below under Interactive Lipo.
What Type of Liposuction does Dr. Su perform? Patients often ask if Dr. Su will be using the Smart Lipo laser or VASER, or other devices that they have heard of. The answer is that Dr. Su has used both of the technologies mentioned about as well as the Aqualipo device, and Tickle Lipo device. These technologies although sounding high tech don’t add anything to the cosmetic results. Some of them make fat a little softer and faster to remove but do nothing to make removal more complete or smoother. The final shape and degree of completeness comes down to the artistic skill of the surgeon. Just as in Michaelangelo’s time, the mastery of the sculpture was not because of the chisel that he used but was related to his skilled eyes and hands. When sculpting around the ankles it takes extreme skill and this is where Dr. Su’s technique surpasses most surgeons.
Using the Interactive Lipo Method by Dr. Su in Calf and Ankle Liposuction
Dr. Su is not only a liposuction expert and specialist. He is an accomplished artist with a B.A. Fine Arts degree in drawing and sculpting the human figure. Using this artistic background he has created new techniques and methods which are revolutionary to the field of liposuction. He has published articles and books on different topics as well as lectured and taught on multiple topics also.
His method of Interactive Lipo is a key factor in performing liposuction in the ankles and calves. This is an area that few liposuction surgeons have attempted and much less mastered. It is an area that most surgeons are wary to sculpt in because of the difficulty involved and the higher chance of having irregularities. It is more fibrous than most areas of the body, and often thinner and difficult to create a smooth surface.
The Interactive Lipo Method is a new method that Dr. Su developed over the past eight years and is something that is only possible with awake tumescent liposuction. As the name implies, patients are awake and interactive with the surgeon to help create the most ideal sculpting conditions. Sculpting on fat which is soft, fibrous makes it difficult to move the sculpting tool smoothly through the fat. If you can’t move smoothly the surface will be bumpy. By having patients tense their legs and tighten the calf muscle, Dr. Su has a much more stable surface to sculpt on and can make smoother movements with his instrument. The calf and ankle is also difficult because of the 360 degree curve around the leg. An artist sculpting a log could move and position the log in different angles to do the sculpting from proper angles, but a surgeon trying to do this on an asleep patient has an extremely difficult time moving the leg and keeping it stable. Dr. Su’s method has the patient move and shift and any position necessary and then tighten the leg as if it were in a vise.
The best part of Interactive Lipo is that during the surgery, a patient can stand to visualize the area with gravity pulling in the normal fashion. When a patient lies down the fat bulge can change shape making it inaccurate to visualize. Therefore, this periodic standing to check results allows Dr. Su and the patient to see exactly what is happening and to see their final result in the mirror before they ever leave the surgery.
The results that Dr. Su creates with the Interactive Lipo Method are very accurate, very complete, and very smooth. These are qualities that are not common. Dr. Su has corrected a number of poorly done ankle and calve liposuction cases done by other surgeons. When you have Dr. Su perform this surgery you can be sure that you will have great results the first time.
Before and After Photos of Ankle/Cankle Liposuction
Any good liposuction surgeon should have plenty of before and after photos to show the quality of their work. Since this is an artistic procedure with an expected artistic outcome, you should feel comfortable to ask a surgeon you are doing a consult with to show examples that resemble you. Don’t be satisfied to look at only pictures of ideal patients with smooth bulges and tight skin. It is most difficult to take a patient with fat bulges and folds and to eliminate them with a minimal of the bulge remaining or to smooth them out completely. At Artistic Lipo we treat all types of patients and create outstanding results on the most difficult cases which we are proud to show. Please visit our before and after gallery to see not only ankle and calves sculpting photos but also visit all our other galleries which are sure to impress.
Who is a good candidate for Calves and Ankles Liposuction?
There is no one way to describe who is a good candidate for ankle liposuction, but here are some guidelines that may help. The best way obviously to find out if liposuction can help is to have a personal evaluation by Dr. Su. If you are not from the area, we can do this by looking at photographs and having a phone discussion.
We commonly have patients come from all parts of the country and the World because we do things that most other liposuction surgeons cannot do.
-If you have an obvious bulge at the lower aspect of your leg above the ankle you are a likely candidate
-If you have an outward rounded curve instead of a inward curve on the sides of your lower legs between the calf and ankle you may be a good candidate.
-If your lower leg looks very straight going from the knee to the ankle with no tapering you are a likely candidate
-if your Achilles tendon is not visible you may be a candidate
-if you can grab fat or have soft bouncy tissue around the ankle you are a likely candidate
-if you have a ankle thickness but it dents in and stays that way when you press in then you likely have fluid retention, but you may still be a candidate
How long does it take to recover?
Recovery for ankle and calves liposuction can take longer than other parts of the body. Patients can resume their usual activities but may need time before resuming sports like running or other active endeavors. Pain and soreness is moderate in the week following surgery and patients are given pain meds. Swelling is the factor that keeps a patient from seeing their results for a longer period. It is not unusual for swelling to last more than 3 months before things look their best. This is because the ankles are the lowest part of the body and swell the easiest naturally.
Calf and Ankle Liposuction vs Calf Reduction Surgery
Liposuction is the surgery most often performed for slimming the ankle area and some times extending up onto the calves themselves. Most of the time calf reduction is not the goal, but slimming that tapers up into the calf is important.
When patients are actually desiring for the calves themselves to be slimmed and to look less muscular then another type of surgery may be needed. One of the new and less common types of surgery is for women to achieve a smaller calf. This is usually sought after by women who genetically have a very muscular calf and wish to look more feminine by reducing the size. There are surgeons who now perform this by actually cutting away some of the calf muscles. This surgery is not very common in the US but is highly sought out in parts of Asia where a muscular look is frowned upon in women. If this is what you are looking for, then “calf reduction surgery” is a better term to search for a surgeon.
Do non surgical alternatives help the calf and ankle?
Many new devices which deliver energy to the fat are now being offered by doctors in medical spas and some surgery practices as alternatives to liposuction. Although these devices have been offered for over 5 years now and are here to stay, none have been able to produce the kind of results that good liposuction can produce. The different devices may be known as Cool Sculpting, I-Lipo, Xerona, and others. These types of fat reduction technologies have to work through the skin without injuring it. Therefore, the results are smallish with only about 20% reduction in the fat layer being reported in their studies. Compare this to 80-90% reduction of the fat with Dr. Su and you can decide what is more practical. A word of caution is in order also, since most of the offices offering these noninvasive procedures show only before and after photos of patient given to them by the company selling the device. Of course the photos are going to amaze, but you should ask to see photos that are of patients from that practice and doctor.
Cost of Calf, Ankle, Cankles Liposuction
Cost of ankle and calves liposuction varies significantly across the country and your choice should depend on this factor only partially. As with another part of the body where liposuction can and often goes wrong for a patient. We have seen many patients put their trust and money in the hands of surgeons who don’t have the proper skills and dedication to give you the results you want. As a results many patients come to us with dissatisfaction caused by lumpiness, or because they did not see a good result afterward. Dr. Su will show you what you can expect by showing you previous work as well as drawing on photos that we take or that you submit, to show what the expected change will be. With all this being said, the cost even at our office varies depending on the size and complexity of the patients body area. The cost for ankle and calves sculpting can run from $4000 to $7000.
Complications in Cankles Liposuction
We have not had any complications of Cankles liposuction at our Tampa office fortunately. This body area in Dr. Su’s hands using his advanced techniques produces consistently good results. With other surgeons this may not be the case. When this surgery is performed under general anesthesia by other surgeons it becomes ten times more difficult because there is a significant difference in the control and feel that are required to work in a thinner and more fibrous fat layer. Complications of bleeding and infection are very rare with liposuction. Other complications that patients ask about are blood clots. These can occur when a patient is under general anesthesia because there is no movement of the calf muscles to circulate blood flow. However, in the awake patient Dr. Su has moving and tensing the muscles and standing which almost completely eliminates this risk.
Weight Loss and Exercise after Calf Liposuction
Although we have discussed earlier that weight loss and and exercise cannot get rid of concentrated fat deposits such as cankles, doing exercise still has its value. After liposuction, all patients benefit from eating well and doing exercise. Any strengthening of the calves and legs will help a patient look their best.
Liposuction Surgeries we Perform in Tampa
- Abdomen-Belly-Stomach-Tummy Liposuction
- Waist-Flank-Back-Bra Bulge Liposuction
- Celebrity Arm Liposuction
- Chin-Neck-Jowl Liposuction
- Face Lift Liposuction
- Tummy Tuck Lipo
- Skin Tightening Lipo
- Butt Lift Liposuction
- Thighs-Leg-Knees Liposuction
Fly in for Expert Ankle and Calves Liposuction
Many patient come to us from all over the US and the World for liposuction of specialty areas such as the ankles and calves. We are aware that it is difficult to find surgeons in even large cities that specialize in liposuction and have a proficiency for doing cankle surgery well. Even the busiest general plastic surgeon may have only performed a small handful of these surgeries. Dr. Su is one of the few liposuction specialists in the country that also specializes in the cankles.
We are used to patients flying in for surgery and leaving within a day or two. We are happy to help you make arrangements for lodging and transportation. We can even arrange for a visiting nurse if you are traveling alone.
For those patients coming with family or staying for a short vacation there are many attraction close by including Busch Gardens, Disney World, and beautiful relaxing beaches.
Schedule a consultation
It is easy to make a consultation with us. Just call and talk to one of consultants who will be happy to schedule a visit. Or if you are from out of town we will give you instructions on taking photos for Dr. Su to evaluate. Dr. Su will then be happy to talk with you via phone or Skype!