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What's the Best Procedure to Correct Cankles?

Doctor Answers 4

Procedure for Cankles

I don't know who thought up this name but it is cute. Cankles are the loss of definition between the lower calf and the ankle so they tend to merge into one, hence, cankles. In my patients I treat this with small cannula liposuction to contour the lower calf and ankle. It usually works extremely well but it can be one of the more uncomfortable (a plastic surgeon's way of saying painful) areas that are liposuctioned. It also takes longer for the swelling to go away so be patient if this is what you decide to do.


Heaviness in the ankles due to excess fat can be well treated with liposculpture.

The swelling tends to be prolonged, but patients who have had lipo in this area are very satisfied.

For patients with muscle bulkiness, thick bones or narrow calves creating less than ideal contours of the lower leg, liposculpture is helpful but not definitive.

Of course, your surgeon will know to be cautious in patients who have venous insufficiency, chronic edema or vascular problems. A board certified plastic surgeon is familiar with the dangers in treating all those conditions. You wouldn't want to trade an annoying condition for a debilitating one!

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 117 reviews


Cankles, or heavy ankles can often be corrected with liposuction for a beautiful result.  A patient must be carefully evaluated to be sure the issue is excess fat and not edema. Many women with very large calves find liposuction of this area to be life changing. Some women are wearing boots for the first time and feeling comfortable in dresses that reveal their calves. There are several examples of before and after images of patients on my website.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Cankle procedure

Treating what  looks like fatty ankles or lower leg regions is very difficult. Liposuction is an option if there is a fatty component but the lower legs usually have prolonged edema.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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