Calf implants are designed to increase the size and/or improve the shape of the calf, and are used for both aesthetic and medical purposes. Candidates include those who cannot get the calves they want from exercise alone, and those who have calf-muscle imbalances because of physical or birth defects.
In general, in terms of implants for aesthetic reasons, men opt for calf implants to increase their calves’ bulk, whereas women want to create better proportion between calves and thighs. In terms of implants for medical reasons, those who opt for implants may want to correct disfiguring injuries, or defects caused by disease.
The Calf Implant Procedure
Calf augmentation is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. It usually takes between 1 and 2 hours to perform. During the calf-implant procedure, an incision is made behind the knee, and a pocket is created to hold the implant. Because the incisions are placed in the crease behind the knee, they are barely visible after surgery. Once the implants are placed, the incisions are closed with sutures and bandages to promote proper healing.
Calf implants are made of soft solid silicone. They are placed just beneath the fascia (connective tissue) of the calf muscle.
Recovery After Calf Implants
After calf implant surgery, the lower legs are swollen and there is incision-site bruising. Any postoperative pain or discomfort is managed with medication. During the first and second days after surgery, the legs should be kept elevated. Bandages are usually removed very soon after surgery. Most patients can return to work within a week. Walking normally, without stiffness, usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. Resuming all activities, including exercise, is usually possible after 4 to 6 weeks.
Risks Of Calf Implants
Aside from the risks associated with any surgery, risks related to calf augmentation include the following:
- Implant is visible beneath the skin
- Implant slippage
- Nerve and/or muscle damage
- Fluid collection around the implant
If results are aesthetically displeasing, revision surgery may be necessary.