Liposuction For The Legs

liposuction can tone and sculpt your legs as well as your stomach

While many people associate liposuction with the stomach, it can be used anywhere on the body that has excessive and unwanted fat. This includes several areas in the leg. As with all liposuction, it is a cosmetic surgery and should normally only be considered for fat deposits that cannot be shifted by good diet and exercise. Indeed, people who have lost a lot of weight are not usually good candidates as leg liposuction works best if you have a lot of elasticity in the skin.

The general procedure for liposuction is the same for all areas of the body and involves fat being removed with a specialist vacuum tool. The main variations are the steps taken to make the process easier, for example using lasers to break up the fat before it is removed. Specific areas of the leg may require slightly different approaches.


Getting The Best Results

Ideal candidates for leg liposuction have obvious, defined fat deposits of fat in the thighs, bottom and/or lower legs. In addition, they should be within the range of their target rate, and in be good condition physically and mentally in order to withstand the surgery and have realistic expectations of it.

Beyond being an ideal candidate, there are other things you can do to get the best results. After your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to wear a compression garment. This helps to drive out any leftover tumescent fluid, which encourages your skin and your legs to adapt to their new shape.

Your surgeon may suggest that you begin walking as soon as you are able to, as this stimulates blood flow to the legs. Given that the legs are further from the heart than other areas in which you may receive liposuction (such as the tummy or arms), it can take longer for blood flow to reach. It’s therefore a good idea to begin walking as soon as you are able to after your surgery, although with liposuction on the lower leg, you may have to wait a little longer as incisions are left open to allow for excess fluid to drain quickly. Patient can expect to see results within a few weeks, and be able to resume normal activities in one to two weeks following the surgery.


Ankle

Ankle liposuction is used to remove excess fat around the ankles and lower calves, in a bid to reduce puffiness and help the area look leaner and longer.

Even small deposits of fat can drastically change the shape of the ankle and lower legs. It can often be the case that hereditary conditions cause fat to build up in these areas, leading to what are commonly called “cankles”, or it could be that the larger look of this area is caused by a build-up of muscle rather than fat. Your cosmetic surgeon can perform an ultrasound to determine the cause and see if you are in fact a suitable candidate for liposuction. During the procedure, fat cells will be removed through a cannula, sculpting the ankles and making them appear far slimmer; in fact, removing fat from these areas can potentially reduce the ankle’s circumference by as much as half.

Calf

While calf liposuction is safe, it is a specialised process that requires a highly skilled surgeon. That is because the calf only has one layer of fat and is mainly made up of underlying muscle; the surgeon must avoid damaging this muscle during the treatment. For this reason only patients with a large deposit of fat on the calf are suitable for the treatment. The expertise required in calf liposuction is reflected in comparatively high prices, often ranging from £3,000 to £5,000.


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Knee

Unlike some liposuction, knee liposuction may be particularly suitable for people who have lost weight as the knee tends to be an area where fatty deposits are hard to shift. The most notable element of the procedure is that the surgeon has to be very precise with the placement of the vacuum tube (known as a cannula) given how delicate the knee is; usually the tube is inserted through the back of the knee. As there is a tight space to work in, many surgeons will advise laser or ultrasonic treatment to liquefy the fat as much as possible before it is removed. Despite the process being fairly intricate, knee liposuction usually only takes around an hour. Average costs range from £1,300 to £2,900, but pricing will often be personalised.

Thigh

While thigh liposuction often involves removing more fat than in other areas of the leg, it is a comparatively simple treatment. The main specific factor to consider with thigh liposuction is visible scarring, so surgeons will make the incisions around the crease of the buttock to reduce the visibility. With thigh liposuction, it is particularly important to remember the treatment does not deal with cellulite, just fat. This is because cellulite is closer to the skin than the ordinary fat tackled by liposuction; it is also too unpredictable to say how the removal of excess fat will affect the skin's elasticity and thus the visible effects of cellulite. Liposuction prices start from around £2,000, though as always the cheapest option may not be best.


Recovery

Recovery from leg liposuction is normally a simple, if slow process. You will need to take things easy, and wear a supportive bandage for around three weeks if you have had thigh surgery, but in most cases you can be back to normal activity and work in a week to 10 days. It is best to avoid strenuous activity such as sports for around a month. As with all surgeries, you will need to follow some pre-operative procedures such as cutting down on smoking, and you will usually not be able to have the surgery if you have recently had blood-thinning medication. Between the effects of anaesthetic (which can be local or general) and temporary swelling and bruising, you should not drive home after the surgery so will need to arrange transport.

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