I am in the process of getting the Smartlipo procedure. Can it be performed on the calf area?
Can SmartLipo Be Used on my Ankles or Calf Area?
Doctor Answers 2
Smart Lipo for Lower Legs
I have not seen a single published study in a peer reviewed medical journal that shows "Smart Lipo" is any more effective than traditional liposuction for any area of the face or body ,and some suggest there may be additional complications.
I would be very selective about selecting a plastic surgeon with much experience with lower leg liposuction to perform this rather delicate procedure. Liposuction of the calves and ankles is one of the most technically challenging liposuction procedures. It requires skill, finesse and experience. It is a very unforgiving area in terms of the risk of creating permanent superfical contour abnormalities. The results of calf and ankle area liposuction have a lot more to do with surgical technique than surgical technology.
However, when performed by a highly trained and experienced plastic surgeon, Liposuction of Calves and Ankles (Cankles) can absolutely perfomed and it can provide a beautiful result that can be life changing. Liposuction is a body contouring surgery that requires not only an artist's eye, but also the insight to determine which patients are likely to benefit from the procedure, and which specific areas of a patient's body are appropriate for liposuction. When artfully and appropriately applied, liposuction can produce dramatic contour improvements. As with all plastic surgery, the goal should be to produce a natural contour.
Liposuction, as you may have heard in the popular media, is the most commonly performed surgical procedure each year in the United States. Here's a statistic that you may not have heard: the majority of physicians performing liposuction in the United States are not plastic surgeons; in fact, many do not have any formal surgical training whatsoever. It seems hard to believe, but many physicians performing liposuction or Smartlipo have had no more training in liposuction or Smartlipo than a 'weekend course'. One way to determine whether or not a physician has had appropriate training in a particular surgery is to confirm that they have hospital privileges for that procedure.
I fear that some practitioners view liposuction as a 'simple' surgery, since it does not involve making large incisions, and it requires little, if any, suturing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Liposuction, in my mind, is a very challenging operation that requires careful planning and preparation, and a great deal of care and finesse when it is actually performed. It requires a three-dimensional understanding of the layers of human anatomy, an understanding that is second nature to a surgeon alone. I think that it is often an inadequate understanding of anatomy (and, perhaps, of the body's response to surgery) which leads to the poor results in liposuction and body contouring that unfortunately are so often seen.
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.