Liposculpture for Shapely Legs
Calf implants and liposuction for more shapely legs
Many of my female patients present with the problem of feeling uncomfortable wearing short skirts because of embarrassment about their legs,’ says Sydney cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr Darryl Hodgkinson. ‘They would like to have the versatility of wearing briefer clothes for both evening and daywear. Instead they feel trapped in slacks.’
Essentially, there are two types of problems that Dr Hodgkinson’s patients experience: skinny legs or frumpy legs. Calf implants are ideal for resolving skinny legs and reshaping liposculpture is effective for frumpy legs.
‘Skinny legs (also called bird legs or chook legs) usually occur because the medial calf muscle is insufficient,’ he explains. ‘Polio used to be a common cause. Now they are nearly always associated with flat feet and an appropriate and highly successful treatment is calf implantation.’
The calf implantation procedure was developed by Dr Adrian Aiache in Beverley Hills, in the US. ‘Dr Aiache developed four sizes of calf implant, which are shaped like a teardrop to simulate the calf,’ says Dr Hodgkinson. ‘Made from a firm silicone, they are inserted into the deficient area of the calf, usually the medial calf muscle, by a small incision behind the knee.’
"The calf implantation procedure was developed by Dr Adrian Aiache in Beverley Hills, in the US"
This is performed as an outpatient surgical procedure and requires a light general anaesthetic. The incision behind the knee allows access to the deep structures surrounding the deficient muscle. Because of the deep positioning there is no implant show.
Men are also interested in this procedure. ‘Some men are embarrassed to wear shorts because of their skinny legs,’ he adds. ‘The difference for a man with this procedure is that we add two implants to each leg (to both the medial and lateral calf muscles) while in a woman they are only inserted medially.
Liposuction is ideal for patients with frumpy legs (sometimes referred to as elephant legs or tree trunks). ‘What makes a leg attractive is that the medial calf muscle is larger and lower than the lateral calf muscle, and that they both taper down to a narrow junction at the ankle joint. From behind you can also see the Achilles’ tendon clearly,’ Dr Hodgkinson explains.
Reshaping liposculpture involves displaying the muscularity of the leg so that the gentle curve from the calf down to the ankle is presented as a progressive narrowing. This is carried out as an outpatient procedure under local or general anaesthesia. The shaping must be performed circumferentially through small incisions at the front and back of the ankle and front and back of the knee. The patient wears compressive stockings for seven to 10 days afterwards, and swelling resolves progressively over three months.
‘With these two procedures patients are delighted to be able to wear short skirts or shorts and can relegate their slacks to the winter seasons,’ concludes Dr Hodgkinson. acsm