Is Ankle Liposuction Recommended and What Are the Risks?

I am of slim build with heavier lower legs and what seems like a pocket of fat around the ankle. I have seem 3 surgeons- 2 said I needed a vascular assessment and they probably would not operate, the other was confident that he could remove the fat. When I go to bed at night my ankles are always more swollen than in the mornings-I have raised blood pressure that is well contolled and am 31 yrs old. I am concerned as I have had conflicing assessments and am unsure whether to proceed with this

Doctor Answers (6)

Hypertension, Swelling, and Ankle Liposuction

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     If swelling is a significant component of the problem, liposuction will not help and has the potential to make the problem worse.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Liposuction of the ankles is safe and effective.

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Hi.

1) Many surgeons avoid this area (not sure why) and therefore are not experienced.  We have seen several women who had been made to have all kinds of tests, when they just needed microliposuction of the lower legs.

2)  It is very safe and the results can be dramatic and life changing.  You just need to approach it like sculpture.  Compression stockings must be worn for three weeks.

3)  Of course you need a good physical examination to be sure you are a good candidate.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ankle Liposuction And Risk Involved...

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Serious complications like injury to blood vessels and nerves are very very rare. The main sequela of ankle and calf liposuction is prolonged swelling and the need to wear a compression hose for a prolonged period. Ordinarily patients wear compression garments after liposuction elsewhere for about a month and healing occurs and swelling resolves over about four months. However, with the ankles and calves, because they are dependent due to gravity it may be necessary to wear a compression hose for up to six months. 

John S. Poser, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

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Ankle Liposuction is Effective

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Liposuction of the ankle, probably better termed liposculpture because of the small amount of fat that is removed, can make a big difference in the shape of the ankles. It is fairly easy to do and effective but it will take  awhile for all the swelling to go away (months) because of the dependent position of the feet.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Ankle liposuction

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Ankle liposuctrion is a good treatment for thick fatty ankles. But the swelling in the ankles can take much longer to resolve than any other area of the body.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Ankle Liposuction

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Ankle liposuction can be done. It must be done gently.

  • Fat around the ankle lies near small nerves, arteries and veins.
  • Bleeding and nerve damage are possible.
  • Damage to the ankle joint is possible if liposuction is done roughly.
  • Tumescent fluid with epinephrine is used to shrink the arteries and veins and separate fat from nerves.
  • A small cannula (fat removing tube) and gentle technique lessens bruising, pain and damaged nerves.
  • Afterwards, a compression ankle support, elevation of the legs and no exercise for six weeks is essential.

 

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

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.