Knee Liposuction (Lipo Cost, Recovery Time, And Effectiveness)

If you are thinking about getting lipolysis around your knees or another type of knee fat surgery, then you likely are looking for answers to some of the questions below.  Many people who visit our site have asked us questions before going in for a consultation from a board-certified plastic surgeon.

We hope this helps you with making a decision about whether or not knee liposuction is a good idea for your situation.  As always, if you have any additional questions ask us in the comment section below this article.  We will do our best to get you accurate answers.

It is good to have some prior knowledge of the different lipo procedures before talking to a Doc about your options so you aren’t overwhelmed with the new information he or she discusses with you.

Although a good surgeon will take the time to explain everything to you, they are so specialized and knowledgeable in their fields that they often forget to break everything down for you.  This can make it difficult for you to easily understand their explanation of liposuction.

There are many different lipo options available to you if you are interested in removing fat from stubborn exercise-resistant areas.  These procedures range from traditional lipolysis to newer non-invasive liposuction procedures.

It is in your best interest to learn about all your options before deciding to go get lipo so you can choose the one that best fits your situation.  They all range in price, recovery time, and possible complications.  So take some time and do your research on the different types of liposuction.

How Effective is Knee Liposuction for Most People?

Overall knee liposuction can produce great results but cosmetic surgeons will typically recommend getting the procedure done with inner thigh liposuction as well in order to ensure an overall smooth and proportionate appearance when all is said and done.

The problem with opting for only lipo around the knee is that if you have fat around your thighs as many people do, it will end up looking disproportionate to have skinny knees and at the same time chubby thighs.

Keep that in mind if you go in for a liposuction consultation and be sure to ask your surgeon about his or her recommendation to ensure your knees look symmetrical and slimmer after the procedure is finished.

What Is the General Procedure For Lipolysis of the Knee?

Although it will vary depending on what type of lipo you opt for, the basic format of the surgery will involve your surgeon making small incisions on the back of your knee and inserting a tiny stainless steel tool that is like a metal straw known as a cannula.  The size of these incisions and of the tool depends on whether you are having traditional lipo or one of the newer types of lipo done.

Won’t that hurt?  You bet it would if the doctor did not give you some kind of pain management, but don’t worry.  All types of lipo are done either under general anesthetics or local anesthetics.  It just depends on what type you are doing but most of the newer types of liposuction, such as tumescent liposuction, are done under local anesthetics.

This cannula is hooked up to a machine similar to a vacuum cleaner which then sucks out the fat.  Sometimes various solutions are injected into the area to help break up and dissolve the fat and help with the healing process.

Some of the even more advanced lipo procedures use other techniques such as ultrasound or laser to achieve this same result, so do a little research on those two types of lipo suction; laser liposuction and ultrasound liposuction.

After the doctor removes the desired amount of fat from the area around your knees they may also need to do a skin lift if there is excess skin left over to prevent the appearance of your knees from looking too saggy.

After your surgeon is satisfied with the amount of adipose tissue removed, the amount of and appearance of the leftover skin, and the overall symmetry with the surrounding thigh and calf areas, they will then stitch up the incisions and place bandages over the area to speed the healing process and soak up leaking fluids which may seep out several hours after your procedure.

How Long Will My Recovery Be?

Generally, your recovery from liposuction of the knees will take from 3 – 4 weeks to complete but sometimes it can take longer since the knees are a good distance away from the heart this area of the body can take longer than others to heal.

The recovery process from liposuction varies significantly based on the type of liposuction you get as well as how many areas you get done and if additional procedures such as skin tucks are required.  Additionally, even a person’s body will heal at varying rates even if they had the same exact procedures and amounts of fat tissue removed.

That being said, the doctor will usually do some things to help you recover more quickly and completely.

  • The first thing that nearly every surgeon will recommend is compression bandages or clothing.  This is almost like a brace that will minimize bruising and swelling by keeping constant pressure on the area that was operated on.
  • They may also prescribe certain therapeutic exercises for you to keep the blood flowing and keep your range of motion which will help reduce swelling and bruising as well.  Some examples of such exercises may be seated calf raises.
  • You may need to take it easy for a few days and not move around much.  It can also help reduce the swelling the keep your feet raised slightly with a pillow or on the arm of your couch.
  • If a lot of fat was removed to the point where you will likely have quite a bit of swelling the doctor may recommend that you have a wheel chair to get around for a few days to weeks.
  • Perform self-massage on your legs several times daily so that you aid your lymphatic and circulatory flow which will help speed your recovery.

How Much Will My Lipo Cost?

Often times surgeons will caution against only getting isolated knee liposuction.  Although this may seem like they are just trying to get more money out of you this is not necessarily the case.  As we discussed earlier, it really does have the potential to create a distorted and disproportionate look if you opt for knee lipo only.

But to help you out, many surgeons offer package deals for patients who would like to get multiple areas of their body liposuctioned at the same time.  If you want to get your knees done consider and talk to your doctor about the following four areas as well.

  1. Hips
  2. Thighs
  3. Buttocks
  4. Calves

If you opt to get a package deal, the total cost will be more however it will be cheaper than if you got each procedure done separately at different times.

What Are the Risks and Possible Complications?

As with any medical procedure, there are possible risks and complications to knee fat surgery.  The most common are excessive swelling, pain, and stiffness since your tissue will experience significant trauma.  This can even last up to several months in rarer cases.

In addition to that, your result may not be satisfactory to you and can sometimes require to follow on procedures to correct.

And finally there are very rare serious side effects of liposuction such as blood clots and even death.  Although they are very rare, you should take the time to learn about the risk of these serious complications and decide if you are comfortable with them.

Here is a great article discussing the different types of potential complications from liposuction.

Yikes! Sounds Scary… Are There Alternatives To Liposuction?

In fact, there are some nonsurgical liposuction options that are relatively new but may be worth looking into if the possible risks associated with surgical liposuction are frightening to you.

These methods use ultrasound or lasers to break up the fat in your body without making a single incision.  This broken-up fat is then massaged and will eventually be removed from your body through the lymphatic system.

If you opt for this route it will not be a one-time thing, it takes several sessions and these have to be spaced apart so that your body has time to remove the fat.

Also, keep in mind that no liposuction will give you permanent results unless you are also making healthy modifications to your nutrition and lifestyle.  So be sure you start learning everything you can about healthy nutrition and making the appropriate changes so that you can keep and improve the results you achieved with lipo!

Here is another video about knee liposuction, primarily in the calf area so that you have a better idea of the procedure if you are interested in it.






4 responses to “Knee Liposuction (Lipo Cost, Recovery Time, And Effectiveness)”

  1. Erika Avatar

    I am very active and fit, but have always had big legs. I also have bad knees and need meniscus surgery-it’s bone on bone.
    Would having knee/thigh liposuction help with my knee pain?
    Will insurance cover this?

  2. Jia Avatar

    I don`t have knee lipo but I had a tummy tuck surgery last year. Of course, the price was a little higher than knee lipo but it was worth it. In fact, I am planning my next surgery. Knees have always bothered me so they will be next thing to improve. Thank you for sharing your article!

  3. Judy V Avatar
    Judy V

    Can liposuction be done on the inside of knees after bilateral knee replacement has been done 2 years previously?

    1. Emily Newman Avatar

      Judy, that is something your Doctor would be better informed to advise you on. Please let us know what you find out, though, it could be beneficial for others to have an idea. I would guess that after two years most if not all surgery related inflammation would have subsided and it would now be safe to get liposuction on the inside of the knees. Before you go with liposuction, it may be worth trying high-intensity exercises (rowing may work well if you want a no-impact knee-friendly exercise) coupled with a clean diet and perhaps some fat burning cream may get you some cheaper and safer improvement than liposuction. Worth a try in my opinion!

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