Liposuction for the Legs
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.
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.
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.
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 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.