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Leg liposuction and lipedema

English subtitled video

We are going to talk about two different topics that Clínica Sanza Barcelona performs, tow issues related but are not the same:

1 – Leg liposuction surgery

It is the most common, done for cosmetic reasons, to improve how we look, not for a need or health reason. It consists in removing the adipocytes or cells that have the subcutaneous fat localized in thighs, knees, calves and ankles and some of these areas with several methods.

The combination of a conventional liposuction, lipolasaer, lipovirboscution and lipolaser with ultrasounds allows to obtain results that we can show you as follows in high definition. The most perfect method that exists nowadays to get the best results is body remodeling.

2 – Treatment for lipedema

Lipedema is a progressive illness of the fatty tissue that usually affects women. It is fat that accumulates in an excessive way in arms and legs.

It is not a surgery that is done for aesthetic reasons but for a real problem that needs solving before it gets worse.

The solution to this problem is the same: to a liposuction to eliminate these cells that accumulate fat in legs and ankles.

Lipedema can be of different degrees, depending on its affection:
  • Degree I: The skin’s surface is regular, although soft, but you can feel small fat lumps.
  • Degree II: The skin’s surface is irregular, hard due to the increase off at lumps.
  • Degree III: The skin’s surface is adipose, especially in hips and ankles where there are a lot of lumps of different sizes.
Lipedema stages
Lipedema stages

Causes of lipedema

The true origin of lipedema is uknown. The majority is that the main cause is unhealthy way of live (bad nutrition and sedentarism) that helps with the accumulation of fatty tissue, but that is NOT correct. Although the causes are not clear, most experts reckon it is strongly related to hormonal disorders. Its revelation and deterioration takes place after puberty, pregnancies, menopause or the take of the pill. It is also been proven that a genetic component exists in lipedema predisposition.

As there is no evident origin, this makes it hard to diagnose this illness. Many patients are frustrated when they go to a specialist and receive assessments such as “tired legs”, “poor circulation” or “obesity”.

What is fat and how is it removed forever with liposuction?

The body fat is a cellular tissue that: protects the organs, covers articulations, controls the temperature, stores vitamins and is a source of energy for the body. This fat is in a semi liquid state composed basically of triglycerides. We generate it from an excess of calories that we eat and do not use.
The body is prepared to store what we have in excess in cells called adipocytes. I present them to you: you can see them in the picture below. Notice everything that is in a yellow tone, all of that is the fat that accumulates and the bad news is, there a millions of them in your body (in mine as well. On top of that they reproduce…unless you eliminate them…and that is the question.

What happens to the skin that is left over after fat is reduced with liposuction?

In most cases the skin retracts on its own and nothing else is needed. it goes back to its place alone and it doesn’t hang. Only in some cases, when the skin is considered of bad quality, it cannot retract on its own. We are talking about 5% of the cases. Look at this picture below, the skin is retracted with no need to lift it. How does the skin look before and after a liposuction? It is not a matter of taking more or less fat that makes the skin retract, it is due to the quality of the skin. This is something the Dr will tell you before doing or paying anything. A skin lift is done only in extreme cases and later on. These types of interventions are called ABDOMINOPLASTY and you can click here to get more details and see what it is about. https://www.clinicasanza.com/en/abdomen-and-back-surgery-barcelona/abdominoplasty/

How to mark the musculature with liposuction?


How to eliminate cellulite definitively with liposuction?



At Clínica Sanza we rely on the Sagrat Cor Hospital, part of the Quirónsalud group, to perform our surgical procedures.
Its prestige, facilities, medical and healthcare staff, as well as its technology are a guarantee.


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Its more frequent in women than in men.

Patients that would like to improve the volume, shape or cellulite of their legs.

Patients that look after their diet and practice exercise and still have accumulated fat in: thighs, knees, inner side or any area of their legs.

Patients that genetically develop more fat in their legs in comparison to their arms, shoulders, and abdomen.


The procedure is taken place in a hospital surgery as mentioned.

It is an easy procedure when it consists in eliminating small bumps that are less than one kilo of fat tissue.

Nevertheless, it can be more complicated when it consists in eliminating 6 or 10 kilos of fat tissue. In all cases, the scaring is minimum as the intervention uses fine laser or ultrasound cannulas.

It’s one of the most variable surgeries as it depends on the area that is intervened, it’s not the same reducing the fat on one concrete area of the body than reducing several clothe sizes and the whole legs.


  • From 1 to 5 hours



  • Evaluation of the area for an accurate treatment
  • Follow the Doctors instruction
  • Blood tests, cardiac and respiratory tests


  • Local and sedation, epidural or general if preferred


  • Either hospital stay of 24 to 48h or no overnight hospitalization


  • Wear a compressive corset that Clínica Sanza provides
  • Medication if required
  • Postoperative revisions to avoid complications
  • Stich removal at 10-day post-surgery if required


  • 1 to 7 days of complete rest depending on each individual case
  • Removal of the corset 15 or 30 days after the intervention
  • We recommend lymphatic massages to speed up the recovery
  • Strong physical work outs 1 month after the intervention


  • Very effective and last longing
  • Rejuvenated and improved appearance
  • The loss of one or several clothe sizes
  • Self-esteem, confidence and security


  • Easy/complex intervention


  • Low/medium
  • Surgical intervention risks: bleeding, bruising, infection. Rare if followed appropriately the Doctors advice and post check-ups
  • Intervention risk: The possibility of postintervention irregularities that may require a small retouch


Before After
Before After
Before After
Before After

Whatever your case may be, do not hesitate in contacting us.

Clínica Sanza in Barcelona, Spain, quality service

Frequently asked questions about legs surgery

What is liposuction or liposculpture of the legs?

When there is an accumulation of fat in a certain part of the body such as the thighs, knees, calves or ankles is indicated liposuction or liposculpture, also called body reshaping. These minimally invasive surgical alternatives, i.e. without leaving residual scars, are the best options for achieving the best body reshaping.

How’s the procedure?

The surgery is carried out through small incisions, through which a cannula is introduced through which the excess fat is extracted, managing to shape the area to be treated. Depending on the extent of the area, local, epidural or general anesthesia will be used. We can use lipolaser or lipovaser if desired or necessary.

How’s the post-op?

In most cases the postoperative period is 24 hours, and the initial discomfort is perfectly controllable with a mild analgesic. After the operation and throughout the first month, a girdle should be used and massaged in the treated area to optimize recovery, for 1 or 2 weeks. They can live a normal life according to the discomfort of each patient and the amount of liters of fat extracted. (1- 15 litres)

What is the indication for lipolaser in legs?

When we do liposuction we remove the excess fat tissue, but when we want to perform in addition to the removal of fat certain retraction of the skin we can use the technique of laser liposuction, followed or not by classical liposuction depending on each case.

How much can I improve?

If there is little fat tissue can improve the contour and cellulite. If there is a lot of fat tissue it can go down to 5 sizes of clothes.

What is calf implant surgery?

This surgical procedure improves the shape of the calves by inserting an implant that is placed through the posterior fold of the knee. Implants can add definition and substantially improve the appearance of the legs. They can be short and mark only the cufflinks or they can be long and reach up to the ankles.

What characteristics should the candidate for this surgery have?

The people who generally seek this surgery are those who want to show more developed muscles in their legs, who often despite exercise have not been able to increase the muscle volume of this area, as well as those patients who have decreased twin muscles as a result of congenital or pathological conditions.

What implant is used in calf surgery?

The implant used in calf surgery is a kind of anatomically shaped, external surface pocket filled with high density silicone, smooth surface, specifically designed for this area of the body. The cover of these implants is highly resistant, similar to breast prostheses but more cohesive and in the shape of a twin or a whole leg.

What can I expect after surgery?

Mild inflammation and pain that are tolerable and controlled by the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs. You should wear a compression bandage or stocking if necessary, and drainage during the first few weeks. You rest the first day after surgery and can walk from the next day, sometimes with the help of a rental of crutches. Recovery is usually quick, depending on the size of the implant, and whether we place one or two. That is, highlight internal calves, external calves or both. You will be able to join the usual activities from the 4th day after the intervention, but sport, approximately a month.

What type of anesthesia is used?

Usually this procedure is performed with local anesthesia and sedation, if required we can do it with epidural or general anesthesia.

How long will I be in the O.R.?

This procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours.

Is hospitalization necessary?

We recommend 1 day of rest in the hospital.

Frequently asked questions about liposuction and lipolaser

What is the difference between liposuction and lipolaser?

Liposuction is the conventional technique where a small cannula is used to remove fat deposits from certain areas of the body. The lipolaser requires a special fiber optic device that transmits laser energy, this energy produces a destruction of fat. The fat is converted into a liquid emulsion that is left for the body to reabsorb (if the amount is not too large) or can be removed by aspiration through a cannula. Apart from the removal of fat, the laser causes the coagulation of the small vessels of adipose tissue and stimulates the reorganization of collagen in the superficial dermis causing an immediate skin tightening or firming effect.

Can I have liposuction in summer?

Liposuction, like any cosmetic surgery, can be performed at any time of the year. The only consideration to take into account is the need to wear a compression garment in the operated area for a month after the operation, which prevents you from going to the swimming pool or the beach.

Can fatty tissue accumulate again in the treated areas?

Not if it is done well. Once puberty is over, fat cells take a long time to reproduce, but maintain the ability to “grow”, which is why once we eliminate the number of fat cells (adipocytes) these accumulations cannot develop, as long as we follow a healthy diet and without excesses.

When will I be able to bathe or shower after liposuction?

The time of the bath will be marked at the time when you can remove the girdle and replace it without causing discomfort and that the inflammation begins to subside, this can be 2 or 3 days after the intervention.

How much rest is necessary before returning to work?

It can vary depending on the length of the procedure, but it is generally recommended from 5 to 7 days, as long as the return to work does not involve too much physical effort or a very active mobilization.

Does liposuction improve or eliminate cellulite?

Yes and a lot. Cellulite or orange peel skin is a skin problem that manifests as very frequent small depressions in the buttocks, legs and hips. Liposuction cures and improves cellulite by decreasing the volume of certain areas. It partially eliminates fibrous partitions and favors a better lymphatic drainage.

Can I have liposuction if I am very overweight?

Yes, of course, you just have to remember that liposuction is not a method to lose weight but to lose volume. Clinica Sanza has a very extensive protocol for large volume liposuctions (from 10 to 15 liters), a technique that we have published in different specialized magazines and that we have presented in multiple national and international medical congresses.

Will there be a lot of bruising and swelling after liposuction?

Bruises and swelling may appear in the area for a few days, even weeks. Usually the bruises disappear after 7 to 14 days and the most evident inflammation after one to two weeks. Subsequently there is a little residual swelling that can be maintained for a month or two after the intervention.

Should I follow any post-operative treatment?

Basically you have to follow the specific instructions for each case that your surgeon gives you. On the other hand, it is necessary to wear compression garments for a period of 3 to 5 weeks (this will vary according to the evolution of each patient). We suggest lymphatic drainage to eliminate edema, swelling and speed up the disappearance of bruises.

When will I see the effects of the operation?

Once the acute inflammation has passed, the initial results can already be seen, that is to say after 3 weeks to 2 months depending on the extension of the intervention, although the definitive results can take 6 to 9 months.

Why are there some liposuctions that put on weight again?

It is due to a bad technique of the surgeon. If it is done correctly, it is impossible for the fat to form again, even if you get pregnant and after giving birth you keep the weight after the liposuction, the result continues to be as we had left it.


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