Can Knees And Ankles Be Reshaped By Liposuction?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I hate my fat knees and my ankles just don’t exist. I know that liposuction can be performed just about anywhere on the body. How effective is it in these areas and will I be back to working out and be physically unrestricted in two weeks after the procedure? (I’ll be leaving for a European vacation)

A: Liposuction of the inner knees can get rid the bulge that interrupts a desired straight line from the thigh down to the calf. Small cannula liposuction can also help one reduce one’s ‘cankles’ by creating a noticeable difference between the calves and the ankles. While these are some of smaller areas on the body to treat by liposuction, they can be tremendously effective. Despite their small size, however, I would not call recovery quick particularly if the criteria you are using is a high level of physical activity in a foreign country. The knee and ankle are unique because they are the only areas of the body in which liposuction is done across a moveable joint. This means that the knees and ankles will be stiff for a while (4 to 6 weeks) and the swelling in the lower extremities will take a long time to go away. (months) This does not mean that one can not perform all normal activities of daily living but placing a lot of physical stress on the knees and ankles (like occurs in traveling) is not something that is going to be fun just two weeks after surgery. I would highly advise that you defer knee and ankle liposuction until after your European vacation.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana