Treating “Cankles”: Ankle Liposuction is Increasing in Popularity

The term “cankle” is commonly used to describe an ankle that is not much slimmer than its adjoining calf. As this relatively new term becomes more ingrained in popular culture, more women are seeking ways to slim down their ankles. Dr. Usha Rajagopal at the San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center has seen an increase in patients who are interested in cankle reduction surgery. The procedure involves liposuction of the ankles and sometimes also of the lower calves to create a thinner and more feminine shape to the lower legs.

Thick ankles, or “cankles,” can be caused by excess fat deposits that happen to settle in the lower legs. “Ankles do not normally respond well to diet and exercise like other areas of the body. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, for most people to alter their ankle size by changing their habits,” says Dr. Rajagopal. Many uncontrollable factors, such as genetics, pre-determine ankle and calf size.

For cankle reduction surgery, Dr. Rajagopal first determines whether excess fat or muscle tissue is the cause of the patient’s undesirable ankle circumference during the consultation appointment. During the surgery, Dr. Rajagopal uses traditional liposuction to remove excess fat deposits from the ankle area. Fat removal via liposuction can be performed on the lower calf area as well, if needed, to achieve the desired look.

Some women, in particular women of Asian descent, naturally have wider calves and ankles due to muscle hypertrophy (an increase in the size of muscle cells) rather than from excess fat deposits. Individuals with excess muscle tissue around the ankles are not candidates for the liposuction based cankle reduction surgery detailed above.

To find out more about cankle reduction surgery or to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Rajagopal, please call the San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center at 415-392-3333. We are located at 490 Post Street, Suite 430 in downtown San Francisco near Union Square and Powell BART station.