When most people think of prospective areas for liposuction, their thoughts go to the stomach. Some might dream of eliminating fat from their necks, upper arms, or thighs. Many people would list a host of body parts to zap fat from before they arrived at the ankle. But for those who suffer from cankles, unsightly lower-leg fat is a source of wardrobe-altering annoyance. During a hot Chicago summer, those with cankles dread the thought of baring their legs on North Avenue Beach.
"Cankles," a popular slang term for swollen, thick or fatty ankles, combines the words "calf" and "ankles" in reference to the portion of the legs where cankles occur. Since cankles are largely an aesthetic condition and don't pose a medical threat, cankle treatments such as cankle liposuction are just recently making it into cosmetic clinics, after making it onto the pop culture radar—Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus and Mischa Barton are just a few celebs rumored to have cankles today.
There are several underlying causes of cankles. The most common cankle causes include obesity, hereditary predisposition, water retention, or edema during pregnancy. Read on to learn about the most common cankle treatments, and their odds of success.
Of the most commonly proposed cankle treatments, some have proven very effective, and some are mostly hype. One largely held misconception is that cankles can be dramatically reduced by performing certain exercises designed to strengthen the muscles in the ankle region. In fact, in honor of cankle sufferers, Gold's Gym even recently proclaimed a "National Cankle Awareness Month," and has created new exercise programs specifically to target cankles. In reality, ankle fat can be resistant to exercise and dieting. Cankles cannot be spot-reduced with specific exercises, although the cardio and fat-burning exercises recommended for cankle reduction are still worth doing.
A temporary home remedy for cankles, which some swear by, involves first applying Preparation H to the cankle and then tightly bandaging the ankle overnight. Supposedly this treatment method will reduce the size of the cankles for a brief time as the Preparation H cream helps lessen water retention. Since Preparation H is really designed to treat hemorrhoids, not cankles, this treatment method isn't advised in the long run. The company that manufactures Preparation H cream has even said they don't recommend it being used on other areas.
Some cankle sufferers have even latched onto the FitFlop™ craze to try and remove cankles and reduce ankle fat, by exercising their leg muscles more when they walk. While the FitFlops can likely help wearers with a poor arch, and possibly strengthen weak ankles, FitFlops probably won't minimize cankles.
The most sure-fire way to nix excess fatty tissue in the ankle area is to try ankle liposuction, or cankle liposuction. With a relatively quick cankle lipo procedure, a plastic surgeon can remove fat deposits and any excess skin to create a slimmer ankle shape. It’s an easy solution, with many plastic surgeons in and around Chicago who are qualified to perform the procedure. What's more, ankle liposuction is a much more immediate, not to mention permanent, method of cankle treatment as opposed to Preparation H or leg exercises. Another cosmetic surgery option for correcting cankle issues is calf implants. By enhancing and augmenting their calf muscles through calf implants, patients could achieve a more attractive sloping contour from calf to ankle, which could have a minimizing effect on thick ankles.
If biking Chicago’s Lakefront Trail or walking the Magnificent Mile haven’t helped you lose your unsightly cankles, you may be a candidate for the treatment. Ankle liposuction is worth looking into if your cankles are mainly the result of excess body fat and/or skin. Not everyone makes a good candidate, because you need just the right amount of ankle fat so that you aren't left with lumps, which can be caused by removing tissue too close to the skin's surface. If, instead, you have muscular ankles and big, thick bones, the surgery may not be for you.
If you are currently pregnant, or are retaining water, your cankle situation might lessen or disappear on its own with time. For more information about cankle lipo, or to determine if ankle liposuction is right for you, it's best to schedule a treatment consultation with one of the many experienced plastic surgeons and liposuction providers in the greater Chicago area. Only a professional will be able to ascertain the cause of your cankles, and if liposuction can help you achieve the slim ankles you've always wanted.