I had circumferential liposuction of the calves and ankles six days ago. My doctor removed about 300 cc from each calf/ankle. He told me that my calf muscles were big but that I had about 1-2 inches of pinchable fat at the tops and about 1 inch at the ankle. Right now with the swelling they look about the same as they did before. I know that the swelling will last up to 6 months but would it be realistic to expect the circumference to go down an inch or so at least after the swelling goes down?
Is 300cc a Lot of Fat to Be Removed from Each Calf? When Will I See Final Results?
Doctor Answers (5)
Liposuction of the calves
In general there is 2.2 pounds per liter of fat removed. Taking 300 cc from the calf is a lot of fat. In general you are 50% of the way there at 6 weeks and 80% at 3 months. When large areas are treated with liposuction there is always some degree of fluid retention. Liposuction is really more about how much fat is left behind and not how much fat is removed. You can remove all of the fat and it will not look very good.
Liposuction of Legs?
Thank you for your question.
300 mL is a reasonable amount of adipose tissue removed from each calf.
Swelling is part of the healing process. I ask my liposuction patients to wear a compression garment for 4 weeks post op surgery to help with the swelling. The swelling can take months to subside and even longer for skin to “redrape". At that point you will see the final results.
Liposuction of calves and ankles
The 300 cc's removed was that fat and fluid or just fat. Either way it will take several months for you to see the final result and for the swelling to subside. It is hard to predict how small the calves and ankles will get.
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After liposuction of the calves and ankles, wear custom fitted compression stockings.
1) You normally see visible improvement six days after liposuction of the ankles and calves. So you must have unusual swelling, which made me think that perhaps you are not wearing custom made compression stockings. If you are not, it is not too late to start now. Talk to your doctor. You should also keep your feet elevated as much as possible.
2) On the "average patient", more than 300 cc's are removed from each leg, but that does not mean that 300 cc's was not the right amount for you. You will see the final result at four months, and almost all women who have this procedure are very happy with the result, because they can stop hiding their legs and start wearing short skirts. So be very optimistic!
3) It is certainly usual for the circumference to go down one inch or more.
Liposuction of the Ankles and Calves
It is normal to have a significant amount of swelling of the calves and ankles following liposuction of the lower extremities. As you said, it will take six months, and maybe longer, for all of the swelling of your ankles to resolve following surgery. In my practice, I have found the most important thing to speed recovery and ensure optimal results is to wear lower extremity compression garments (30mm Hg or greater in pressure) at all times (except while bathing) for three to six months. It is impossible to predict to what degree the circumference of your ankles will decrease after all the swelling has resolved; however, removal of 300cc of fat from each calf/ankle seems reasonable.
Best of luck.
Jaime Perez, M.D.
Liposuction Specialist in Tampa, FL
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, FL
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.