Can Calf/ankle Liposuction Help my Thick Legs? (photo)

I have big leg bones. I've always had big legs since I was a child. I also carry fat in my legs too besides having bulky leg muscles. Will liposuction in ankles and calves help to get rid of cankles and give me a big difference? Even if I stop exercising, I still have cankles.

Doctor Answers 7

Athletic Woman and Calf and Ankle Liposuction

   As a bodybuilder and a plastic surgeon who evaluates body fat all the time, you have muscular legs and ankles with very little subcutaneous fat.  The ankles do not appear lipodystrophic to any extent.  The cankle issue is a bit misleading as your ankles are OK.  The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles may not have the look or shape that you need to give the illusion of smaller ankles.  Either way, keep what you have.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 484 reviews

Microliposuction of the calves and ankles can produce dramatic result.


1)  This is a procedure that can be life changing.  Women stop covering their legs.

2)  Tiny cannulas need to be used to produce a smooth contour.

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

Muscular Legs Will Not Respond To Liposuction

Based on this one photo, your 'big' legs are primarily muscle even down to the ankle areas. I see little benefit of performing cankle liposuction as it does not appear that it would make much of a difference with so little evident subcutaneous fat.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Calves and ankles and liposuction

It is difficult to tell from the photo whether or not you have ankle and calve fat that is amenable to liposuction. Best to be seen in person.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Liposuction of legs

Thank you for your question about liposuction of the legs and calves.

  • At least in the photo, I don't see ankle fat.
  • If you feel fat in the calves and thighs, careful liposuction can remove it.
  • You look muscular and fit. You may have a greater problem with muscle bulk than with fat.  If so, try a fitness class based on ballet barre exercises. These are now common. Unlike most sports, ballet lengthens and slims the leg muscles. Search the internet for 'barre fitness' classes near you. Best wishes!

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Liposuction of legs and calf

If your calf and leg thickness is due to fat below the skin surface (relatively easy to check by a simple pinch test) then selective liposuction can help.  Your photos appear to show very athletic legs which may not have the necessary fat layer.  Care must be taken from doing too much liposuction in the lower legs or prolonged swelling can result.  Be sure to see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in depth consultation.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Liposuction works for large ankles provided fat is a contributing factor.

Large ankles sometimes our contributed to by excess fat in the lower part of the leg. In this instance liposuction can help refine the appearance. If one pinches the skin in the areas 3/4 to 1 inch of skinfold thickness, liposuction will definitely help. If there is less than one half of an inch, then the fullness is due to a broad soleus muscle for which there is no practical treatment.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 34 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.