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Knees, Calves and Ankles - Orem, UT

I had liposuction done on my ankles, knees (inner...

I had liposuction done on my ankles, knees (inner and top) and calves on Thursday February 28, 2013. I have had lipo on my inner and outer thighs and inner knees and I had prepped myself for the same amount of pain. I was SO wrong. This procedure was much much worse.

I had Friday - Monday off work and unfortuately on Tuesday I was beginning a new job. I work at a law firm so I had to show up, dressed well, and begin interacting in a professional environment. It was easiliy the hardest thing I've ever done. My legs were so painful, I couldn't walk, my clothes didn't fit, and I was miserable.

I wanted to write this review, not to shy people away from having the proceedure done, but just for people to be more aware. This is what my experience was.

The first Friday and Saturday we had company visiting and I did not want to tell them what happened, so I tried to pretend I had a really bad workout. (Which I'm sure was painfully obvious that I was lying.) My legs were unable to straighten, so I had to walk bow legged (as if I just got off a horse) on my tip toes. Not to mention, I was walking at about the pace of a 98 year old. From previous experience, I decided not to dabble in controlled pain relievers so I used a bit of hydrocodone and then on day 2 I switched over to Tylenol.

Sunday and Monday I was able to lay low all day, which definitely helped in my recovery, but I certainly wasn't ready to go to work. The simpelest tasks like going to the bathroom felt like running a marathon. It was incredibly painful to move myself around and my legs hurt to the touch from the swelling.

Unfortunately, I didn't have much leaking from the swelling. One incision on my calf drained a bit and one incision on my knee drained a bit, but had I been thinking clearly - I would have worked to press fluid out (even if it's painful) while my incisions were still open. I'm 4.5 weeks out and the places that drained have been healing so much faster than the places that did not.

I worked Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and every minute of every day felt like hell. My work was kind enough to let me elevate my legs during training sessions, and we even have a wellness room that I took advantage of a few times, but all day all I could think about was going home and getting into bed.

Thursday night I went to my follow up appointment and basically cried to my doctor about how much pain I was in. Finally he gave me a few options that REALLY seemed to help, which made me want to write this post in the first place.
a. He wrote me a perscription for a diuretic, only under the understanding that in a regular day I drink 200oz of water.
b. He approved me to start taking epson salt baths. I'd soak for about 30-45 minutes, and I always felt much less stress after that.
c. He encouraged I take arnica cream and tablets more seriously.
d. He decided that due to my acitvity (the fact that I was back to work, not laying in bed) I was lower for a risk of blood clots so he allowed me to begin taking ibuprofen.
e. He encouraged massages to help with swelling and healing.

I went home from the appointment with a new hope that I could actually make it through the next few days. While I was at Target buying Epson salts and getting my perscription filled, I found some small, extra strength ace bandages with a velcro fastener on the end. I decided to put one around my ankle, and you would not believe the relief I felt. Without hesitation I bought 3 of them. One for each ankle/foot, and one for my calf that hadn't drained. (That leg was and still is much much more painful). Having the support around my ankles, and the tighter compression helped me so much. I finally felt stable enough to walk better and the swelling started to go down!!!!!

Friday at work was a bit better but due to some last minute deadlines I ended up working until 8pm so I felt like I was going to die. I spent the rest of the weekend couped up, elevating my legs, taking salt baths and trying to massage my painful legs.

By Monday I was feeling "better". At this point, "better" is relative, as I am 4.5 weeks out and still do not feel near normal. The mornings were and are still the worst. It feels like piercing pain for the blood to flow into your legs after having them elevated all night long. Getting up to shower or go to the bathroom just about wiped me out for the morning. The pain in my legs was so intense that putting my compression garment on usually took about 20 minutes and then afterwards I needed to lay back down to feel better.

At this point, I was about 10 days post op. When I had lipo on my inner/outer thighs, there was nowhere near this much pain. I was able to fake it around friends, family and co-workers just fine within 2 days of surgery. With this surgery I kept on waiting for a miraculous recovery where one morning I woke up and felt better, but I'm just not there yet.

My leg that didn't drain is still so painful that I can't straighten it (or stand flat on my feet) until I've been awake for about an hour. I still walk with a limp and I can't even imagine exercising (beyond walking my dog). I am still wearing my compression garments 24 hours a day. The feeling in my legs comes and goes, and the tingling hurts and is annoying, but it's starting to go away. I make my husband massage my legs at night, especially the hard knots that have been forming on my outter calf which seems to be helping. I also have been using a foam roller to try to work out my swelling and pain. It's super painful but it seems to be helping.

My incisions on the back of my calves look horrible, they're all scabbed up and gross but my doctor warned me not to touch them - to let my body heal on it's own and the scars will go away. The incisions on the top of my knees are barely noticable.

I can definitely tell a difference and I have seen a difference since day one. Even with all of the swelling and distortion (lumps and bumps) from the compression garments, I love my results.

At 4.5 weeks out I think I am going to buy some athletic compression socks and start using the stair stepper/elliptical and start working myself back into running. I have a vacation with some sight seeing which will be 12 weeks post op and I'm hoping I'll be able to walk around with minimum swelling and pain.

At this point I'd say it was definitely worth it, I just wish I had been more prepared going into it. I scheduled the appointment on a whim due to a cancellation, the fact that I was changing jobs (and worried I wouldn't have time off for awhile) and the fact that summer was approaching. I decided to just get it over with, and while i'm on this side of it, I wish I had been more prepared going into it.

If I could do it again, I'd make sure i had a full week off work. I still wonder if I helped or hurt my healing process by being up and about so soon afterwards. I'd also start taking arnica tablets a week or so prior to surgery. I'd have ace bandages ready for right when I got home from surgery. My feet swelled up and bruised so bad, I think I could have avoided this with the ace bandages.

I have 2 weeks left of compression garments full time, but I may continue to wear them for comfort beyond that. I still don't feel anywhere near normal and I want to make sure I heal all the way.

I hope this was somewhat helpful to anybody considering this procedure. I'm thrilled with the results, I've worked out my entire life trying to get better calves and knees and it wasn't working. So the pain was definitely worth it, I just wish I had been mentally prepared.

In the past week I'm feeling better and better. ...

In the past week I'm feeling better and better. This weekend my husband convinced me to go on a golf trip with him. The warm weather made me want to wear shorts (without my compression garments) and I felt fine. I keep on trying to explain to my husband the strange sensation it feels like to not wear a compression garment. The best description I could come up with was, it feels like your insides and your skin are not connected to each other, so nothing feels stable or safe. After golfing we went for about a 2.5-3 mile hike that was somewhat difficult. Again, I left the compression garments off and I felt okay. My legs were getting achy because they began to swell more, but I tightly wrapped them in ace bandages for our drive back to the resort. I feel like that really helps!

Last night I worked out for the first time in 5.5 weeks. I just did a little Jilian Michaels workout video in my basement, but still, I worked out!!! Every day feels better. I'm finally able to stand straight on my heel (even in the morning!!) and putting my compression garments on isn't super painful.

I make my husband rub my legs nightly and I continue to foam roll. I have spots on both legs that are harder and rubbing them sends shooting pains down to my feet. It's painful but I think the rubbing is helping! I plan to update my profile with pics soon.

I'm not 6.5 weeks out and I'm feeling "great" all...

I'm not 6.5 weeks out and I'm feeling "great" all things considered. I'm still wearing my compression socks 24 hours a day with Ace bandages around my ankles to prevent swelling. I bought some athletic compression socks and went running - which is a loose term since it only lasted a half mile. The faster I ran, the less pain I felt, but it still was a strange sensation. Also, after my 30 minute quickie, my legs were red as a tomato. It bizarre.

I've started lifting weights and working out again like a normal person. I don't feel like I need massages anymore, I just have two strange pressure points on the sides of my calves that when touched, send shooting pains down to my ankles.

I'm happy to feel like i'm on the tail end of this procedure. I'll post pictures soon. I'm quite happy with my results, I think there is still some swelling in my left knee though.
Orem Plastic Surgeon

I found Dr. Jones on the board certified plastic surgery website. I used him to do a breast agumentation and lipo and loved him, his staff and my results so naturally I went back to him!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
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Comments (5)

Okay okay, now I see! I had general anesthesia on both rounds so I was out like a light for the entire thing. I can't imagine being awake! And I completely agree, the areas with less fat are much more painful. My ankles literally felt like I had taken knives to the back of them and just shredded my legs. Sometimes it still feels weird like that. I also still sometimes feel like the insides of my body and my skin are not connected anymore. Weird way to say it, but you know. As far as flying, I'm sure you'll swell, if I were you I'd either keep them in your surgical compression garments (if you weren't already planning on that) or wrap tight ace bandages around your knees. Have you ever heard of diurex? it's an over the counter diuretic that may help with water retention. Be careful to drink enough water if you're going to be trying that for the first time. I can honestly say that around 8 days, I started to feel improvements. I can't remember exactly when, maybe 3-4 weeks, but soemwhere around there I relaized that everyday tasks weren't quite as daunting, and I wasn't running to bed around 8pm. Be patient!!!! And that's great that you had such quick success with smart lipo. I didn't have smart lipo either time, but I've heard that results take a bit longer to see.
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Hi! Thank you for the reply. Sorry to clarify (I probably still have a little bit of a muggy head from meds so please all excuse typos). I had Inner and Outer thighs 1 month ago. I had decided to book in for 2 stages of 'awake' lipo doing 2 areas per surgery. Thinking I'd do the main areas and then pace myself and give my body time for the next round. Awake smart lipo!!! The whole awake thing was mortifying, that's a whole different story. Despite the awake experience not being so nice, i recovered well and the results were amazing, after 2 weeks, i could see a serious difference. I was excited for my next stage. So on to my recent one now, btw under general anesthetic. An absolute must! I'm 8 days post op. I decided to have in this one (my last opportunity before bikini season starts) inner knees, upper knees, buttock and anterior thigh done. With the GA it allowed the surgeon to really sculpt my legs. I dont think you get this benefit at all in the "awake lipo". I don't think there's much of a region on my upper leg that hasnt been resculptured. I can see beneath the swelling an underlying whole new me. I'm clearly more optimistic then this mornings knee pain round! The knees (oh the knees!) the whole disconnection feeling of muscles to joints and nerves is horrible. Plus the tipping over thing and everything else. Hating it. But all said I wouldn't be doing this all if I didn't believe in the end result. So a hate love thing. And that is the addictive part right? It's amazing how something that truly bothers you in the appearance can be changed and how actually different you feel. I felt completely different about my legs after my surgery a month ago. By week 3 i was quietly wayyyy more confident. I'm all about a happy medium in the world of it all though. Trying to get the natural look! I had an MLD massage yesterday evening. The lady gave me st johns wart oil and sage I think was the other, to get the nerves coming back. So those, plus my arnica oil & bromelain, today has lead to the the first day I've seen a huge decrease in swelling. Another joy has been a heating pad from CVS. Ouch the calfs and ankles I just couldn't bare to think how much pain you had or invision that now. I think those areas where you have just a little fat, like a bulge, hurt way more. And areas like moveable joints!! I barely have had any pain with my buttock and outer thigh. Not that my butt was huge like you could take 2000cc out of it was more like 2000cc in total for all my procedures. I'm not a big girl. Just someone seeking a different shape then I had. So you really took a lot longer with the knees and calves? My knees are balloons! Going down but balloons! I need to get a flight for business next weekend, my massage girl told me I'd swell and to be prepared by wearing heaving banadaging. I thought by then based on previous experience 2 weeks is way long enough to get good results and start walking. What do you think? Or are the knees a whole different thing? Anyway sorry for waffling on. Would love to see pics! I'll be posting mine in a few weeks.
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Hey! I'm so glad I could "help". I'm a little confused at what op you had, inner and outer what? Maybe thighs? And also your knees? At the risk of sounding like a plastic surgery addict, I had a breast agumentation in December and during the same operation I had inner and outer thighs done as well as inner knees. I wasn't thrilled with my inner knees results, but I loved my thighs so I decided to go back for a follow up operation. When I went back, I had a touch up on my inner and outer thighs and then i had inner knee, top knee, calves and ankles done...AHHH. Scary, right? Are you 4 weeks out now? I'd think you should be starting to see results, I definitely had by then with my thighs. My knees, calves and ankles - that's a different story. I can definitely see a difference, but every day is different. Some days I feel like I look the exact same, other days I think it is a huge difference. I think it depends a lot on my activity level and swelling. I keep on updating this thing from work and of course I'm not going to be dealing with photos of myself here so I want to load some photos once I get home. Maybe then you can see? Hope you're doing well!!!
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I know you said you were thrilled with the results, was it around the 4 week mark you started to notice them for this op? I hope for all this pain I have dramatic results!
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I just googled "pain from knee liposuction first thing in the morning". And I am so relieved to have read I'm not the only one who has gone through this! I too did an inner and outer op and after a long weekend I could walk and as you say fake it. And I thought my inner lipo was going to be the most painful area! I was completely wrong. Having my knees and anterior thigh done has been a whole different experience. I am also walking like I could tip over at any point. My heart races at 100mph after trying to put socks on, it's like a work out in it self. My legs just cannot bend. Trying to shower stood up, no chance. Hair, make up, stood up, no chance. Yesterday to leave the house for a meeting, it took me 6x as long just to get myself together. Into a cab out of cab, home and pass out!! I am 8 days post op and work from home for the most part. And I still am no way at the point of walking or any feeling or normality restored despite trying. My finance nearly had to carry me home after an attempt of a block walk. Plus all the deep pain. I am taking 1000mg anacetamin every 4 hours after stoping the vicodin (because 4 days on thay makes anyone googa) taking arnica and bromelain, heat pads, elevation of the legs, and this still isn't enough. Believe me I have no idea how you managed at work. You deserve a medal. It's excruciating. Bless you I would have passed out! I really don't know how you did that all. My knees are numb below and all the muscles that run into them are shooting pains back to me. It's like 24hours of pain despite all the meds. Why are early mornings so bad??? I also cried to my doctor. Wow. I just can't believe this pain. And the swelling. I am 2x the size of myself then before. I am just happy to hear you got back to a relatively normal routine in 4-5 weeks. Knee lipo is not for the faint hearted. Thank you for giving me a light at the end of the tunnel.
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