What Are Effective Procedures That Make the Calves Slimmer/smaller? (photo)

I am desperate to find an effective treatment to make the calves smaller. I have very disproportionate calves while every other parts of the body is thin. If I dont use any strength in my legs, the calves are rather squishy, soft and are smaller. If you pinch the calves at the back, they're about 1" thick. Not sure if they're flesh/fats. However, if I walk or run, etc, the muscles would tighten up/ look big. I feel very uncomfortable and need massage. Would Zeltiq/zerona or anything help? Thx

Doctor Answers 7

What Are Effective Procedures That Make the Calves Slimmer/smaller?

Thanks for the posted photo. You can try the non invasive therapies but expect the results to be very poor especially on your pocket. The only proven calf slimming procedure is liposuction. I prefer Smart lipo Triplex. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Calf muscle reduction

The key question is whether this is a calf reshaping due to the amount of subcutaneous fat or whether this is a size of the calf muscle problem. Based on your description, this sounds like a muscle size issue. There is no non-surgical method of calf muscle reduction that will work. You need to consider Botox injections into the calf muscles which should help the spasms after exercise and over time can make the calf muscle smaller, although this is very dose dependent. If Botox is effective, you may graduate to a more definitive solution where one of the small motor nerves to the calf is cut so one of the heads of the gastrocnemius muscle suffers some permanent atrophy. This is a common surgical method of calf reduction in Korea.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Large calf

In order to give you the appropriate answer to your question, you have to be examined by a board certified plastic surgeon. A pinch test will determine the thickness of your skin. If the skin is thick, 1 inch as you say, you can be helped. If the skin is thin, not much can be done, because, no reasonable surgeon will reduce the muscle size. As far as the method of reducing the fat in your calf, a conventional liposuction with thin canula is very effective.

                  Good luck,

                                             Dr Widder

Shlomo Widder, MD
McLean Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Calves and ankles do great with micro cannula liposculpture.

Liposculpting the calves and ankles do great with the tiny micro canulas under local tumescent anesthesia and can be shaped and reduced very easily in most cases for roughly $4-5,000 on special and back to work in 2 days. Sincerely,
David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Liposuction, Coolsculpting and Botox for calf slimming

Looking at your pictures, it's unclear as to whether your issue is primarily one of adipose tissue(fat) or muscle. Liposuction, especially laser liposuction is very helpful in this area. If the issue is muscular, Botox injections can decrease the bulkiness of the muscle. in selected patients, we have treated the calves with cool sculpting with modest improvement.

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Calf Reduction

Liposuction is a great method for shrinking the calfs.  However, you would need an in person consolation to evaluate whether the bulk is due to fat or your muscle.  If liposuction is deemed to be an option, it is a quick (less than 1 hour) procedure with minimal recovery.


Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Microliposuction of the ankles and calves works very well.


1)  This is one of those very successful procedures that is not talked about enough.

2)  The key is to use very tiny cannulas to get a smooth contour.

3)  Like most people, you are a little asymmetrical.  The outer part of your right calf is larger than the left, and your left ankle is a little thicker.  This can be evened out.

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