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Liposuction on Calves: Is It Right For You?

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People often resort to liposuction for cosmetic reasons. They want to eradicate "love handles", unsightly fat bulges, an abnormal chin line, fatty legs, etc. Breasts, buttocks, abdomen, face, thighs and even liposuction on calves to lose leg fat are some of the body parts that undergo liposuction. Mostly, these body parts cannot be shaped easily with diet or exercise.

During liposuction on calves, thighs or other sites, fat pockets on legs or other areas beneath the skin’s surface are vacuumed out by utilizing a hollow steel tube, called a cannula. It requires fluid, which often includes an anesthetic called lidocaine - a drug that numbs the skin, to be pumped under the skin of the area to be liposuctioned. Epinephrine is also added to this fluid to slow bleeding, and then the area is cut into and a cannula is stuck into the targeted area. Leg fat is then removed from the body by attaching a powerful vacuum to the cannula, which allows the cosmetic surgeon to work with localized areas. Heavy IV sedation, local anesthetics, or general anesthetics may be used on the patient during the surgery.

If you are considering calves liposuction to lose leg fat, here are several things you need to ask yourself before you go with any:

  1. Will liposuction on calves improve you? Do you have emotional issues that may need to be addressed as well?
  2. Can you afford the cost of lower leg liposuction? Many insurance companies will only pay for it if it is a medical necessity. Otherwise, the general cost of liposuction on calves can be quite expensive.
  3. You will have to go through some risk with calf liposuction. There are risks involved in going under anesthesia, there are risks with any procedure health wise, and there are risks after the procedure is done.
  4. When choosing a doctor, consider experience, reputation, communication that he or she provides to you as well as whether or not you can trust the doctor.
  5. Consider the effects that this procedure will have on your family and friends.
  6. Consider the fact that the results may not be enough to show an improvement. Try to answer this question: do I have fat or all muscles in my legs.

Risks and complications of having calves liposuction to lose leg fat as well as other liposuctions

Although liposuction is considered one of the safest cosmetic surgeries, cases of liposuction gone bad do happen. Thus, you need to be aware of the dangers since it may require general anesthesia, invasive entrance to and manipulation of your body. Some risk factors and complications of liposuction on calves or other areas include:

  • Scarring, nerve damage, bleeding and blood clots.
  • Fluid imbalance due to the removal of a lot of liquid or injection of large amounts of liquid during liposuction which can result to shock, heart problems, or kidney problems.
  • Infections happen after any surgery and some physicians prescribe an antibiotic to patients having liposuction so it is important to keep the wound clean. Infections may be life threatening such as necrotizing fasciitis (bacteria eating away the tissue) or the toxic shock syndrome caused by bacteria associated with surgery.
  • Embolism occurs when tiny globules of fat trapped in the blood stream blocks the blood flow to the tissue. This may cause permanent disability. Signs of pulmonary embolism are shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing.
  • Adverse drug reactions or overdose from lidocaine is fatal. The effects of lidocaine are lightheadedness, restlessness, drowsiness, slurred speech, muscle twitching, and convulsions. Overdose of this drug may cause the heart to stop which is naturally fatal.
  • Burns caused by the ultrasound probe during ultrasound assisted liposuction.
  • Visceral perforations or puncture wounds in the organs may require another surgery and can be fatal. During liposuction, the physician does not see where the probe (canula) is, so it is possible to harm internal organs.
  • Skin death (skin necrosis) occurs when skin changes color and fall off. This may also cause infection.
  • Paresthesias is an altered sensation at the site of liposuction. This may be in the form of increased sensitivity in the area or loss of feeling. Some cases of this are permanent.
  • Bruising, swelling
  • Bad liposuction results - Distorted areas can happen after having liposuction. There is also the possibility of not getting the outcome you expected and needing further surgery to correct the issues such as asymmetry (uneven removal of fat deposits).
  • Temporary numbness in the surgical area and scarring are also common risks of liposuction.
  • Liposuction gone bad and lead to death - Statistics show that deadly complications occur .0002 of the time for all surgeries. Some patients were reported to have died from such problems as fluid overload (from the fluid used to numb and prepare the area), low blood pressure from the lidocaine added to the fluid and blood clots. Other deaths have been caused by interactions between the lidocaine anesthetic and other medications the patients were taking.
  • Those with a history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood-pressure, allergies and smoking should discuss their medical history thoroughly with the cosmetic surgeon to determine their risk of complications with this surgery.

Average cost / price range of liposuction

In general, the price range of liposuction should run from $2,000 to $7,000. These general cost of liposuction, however, can vary wildly depending on several aspects:

  1. The size of the area and the amount of fatty material to be removed. Most of the time, the more removal and times required, the higher the price of the liposuction.
  2. The number of areas to be worked on. Cost of liposuction to 1 area (the first area) will often be the most expensive, with additional areas being less expensive because you have already paid for the facility, instrument, doctor and other fees.
  3. Where the liposuction surgery will be performed. Liposuction can be done in a hospital or the plastic surgery office. A calf liposuction done in a hospital will require additional fees for the use of the hospital facility and recovery rooms.
  4. What part of the country you are in. Some doctors in bigger cities or more popular plastic surgery areas will charge more money than surgeons in other locations. If you go for overseas liposuction, it will also cost you the transportation, accommodation, etc., but the average cost of liposuction itself maybe lower than the price range of liposuction in your own country.

Finally, find out what is included in the price. Many doctors offer a "flat price" that covers the procedure as well as pre-operative appointments and post-operative checkups while others bill these items separately. So keep in mind that one doctor may seem more expensive than the other, but if everything is included, it might actually even out.

There are many things to consider about liposuction. Before you choose to have liposuction on calves to lose leg fat, make sure you have considered the benefit of liposuction for you, the potential risks of liposuction and the general cost of liposuction carefully. Then take the time to find a good surgeon and the right liposuction provider to go with. Discuss the risks associated with calves liposuction with your plastic surgeon and make an informed decision.

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