How long after thigh liposuction can I have ankle/calf liposuction if done separately?

Hi doctors, I may be having my thighs and ankles/calves liposuctioned by different doctors. The reason is that the first lipo doctor has not done many calves so I'd rather go elswhere for this specialised area. Will thigh lipo cause swelling to my lower legs? How long would I need to wait? Ideally I'd like it done soon after. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 10

Thigh and Calf Liposuction

In my practice we wait at least 2 days between calf/ankle and thigh liposuction. Now if there is enough volume to do both at the same time we will do that.  If we have to separate them, I will only do the calves first as we do not want swelling from the thighs to go down to the calves and interfere with best results.  If you do your thighs first, you should wait at least 6-12 weeks before doing the calves ... to ensure all swelling has subsided.  I suggest you go to the same doctor for both surgeries, someone who is an expert in all parts of the legs/ankles as this area is very unforgiving for complications if not done properly by someone experienced.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

How long after thigh liposuction can I have ankle/calf liposuction if done separately?


6 week after Liposuction you may have the next operation however check with your surgeon for best advice and consultaion.

How long after thigh liposuction can I have ankle/calf liposuction

Thigh liposuction often does result in swelling around the knees and the ankles. This can take several months to resolve in the region although it tends to resolve a bit quicker in the ankle area. It would probably be wise to separates the two procedures by six months or more.

Staging Thigh and Calf Liposuction

Thank you very much for your question.

You raise a very good question, and it isn't easy to answer.  Yes, some of the thigh swelling will go down to the calves/ankles.  Liposuction of the lower extremity can leave somebody swollen for an extended period of time, and it's not easy to predict the amount or duration of the swelling in individuals.  Three months is likely sufficient, but I recommend visiting with that other doctor who does calf liposuction and see what they are comfortable with.  In staged procedures, calves are usually treated first, and then you don't have to wait as long to get the thigh liposuction done.   After visiting with that second doctor, it may be recommended to undergo the procedure all at once by that other doctor.  At that point, it will be your call on a single procedure, or staging it.  Best of luck!

Staging liposuction with 2 different surgeons

Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • First, it is wiser to have liposuction done by one surgeon.
  • If you have consulted a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, s/he should be able to liposuction thighs and calves.
  • Usually, these are treated together.
  • If not, the calves are usually treated first -
  • The recovery from calf liposuction is hard and quite long - be sure you are aware of the recovery, have appropriate support hose and understand how long lower calf swelling takes to go away.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Separate procedures for liposuction of the leg

Thank you for your post.  To be honest with you, I would recommend that you find a surgeon with whom you are comfortable doing all the sites you mentioned in a single procedure.  It will save you money, anesthesia time, and recovery time.  There are plenty of surgeons in your area who would be more than capable of addressing both areas simultaneously.

Thigh and calf liposuction

It makes more sense to have your thigh and calf/ankle liposuction done at the same time by the same surgeon.  One recovery, less money, and better continuity in terms of the procedure as well as aftercare.  I think you will find it hard to find a surgeon who "is known" for liposuction of the calf/ankles.  It is not an anatomic area that is liposuctioned very often as compared to other parts of the body.  Any board-certified plastic surgeon with a large liposuction practice should be able to provide you great results in the calf/ankle area.  I will also say there is particularly high patient satisfaction when it comes to liposuction of this area.  I hope this information helps!

Thomas Taylor, MD, FACS
Pasadena, CA

How long after thigh liposuction can I have ankle/calf liposuction if done separately?

It seems costly and unwise to separate two procedures that are readily performed together in to two separate anesthesias and recoveries.  I'd rethink this plan to save you both money and time.  Good luck and enjoy your results.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Diplomate, Am Bd of Plastic Surgery
Member ASAPS

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Sequencing liposuction areas

Dear Ms. catreal09,
Thank you for your questions.
I am uncertain why not have both areas liposuctioned at the same time?

Never the less it probably doesn't matter which area you do first but I would start with the thighs and wait until the secondary swelling subsides in the calfs before having the liposuction of the calfs done. 

Rationale: secondary swelling will resolve faster than primary swelling in the surgically  liposuctioned  areas. Make sure you have differential pressured liposuction garments for post op care (more pressure in the ankles and calf area)

I trust both of your Plastic Surgeons are Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and who are ideally members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

My best wishes,

R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery
4646 Brockton Ave
Riverside, Ca 92506
(951) 686-7600


Thank you for the question and ideally I would say find one MD expert to treat both areas at the same time.  It should save you money and down time!

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 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.