Calf Implants and Augmentation
The use of calf implants to give the lower leg more shape is not as uncommon as you think. There are many different reasons why someone wants calf implants; from the bodybuilder who can’t get the calfs big enough compared to the rest of the thighs, a birth defect or surgically-induced problem where one calf is much smaller than the other (asymmetry), or someone that just has extremely thin calfs since they were born. (stick legs) Calf muscles are some of the hardest muscles to build up by exercise and are extremely resistent to getting bigger without a herculean effort at weight-lifting.
Calf implant surgery is based on two important concepts; the placement of calf implants to simulate the two calf muscles on both sides of the calf (although not every patient requires two implants per calf) and the use of rubbery (semisolid, not liquid) silicone implants that come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The location and size of the implants should be determined in the office in advance of surgery by measurements.
Calf implants are placed through an incision in the back of the knee and pockets into which the implants are placed developed within the calf muscles. After which, the implants are slipped into place. The surgery does not take long but you need to be prepared for some recovery after surgery. While the procedure is done as an outpatient, calf implant surgery can be quite painful and full recovery is going to require some time. Be prepared to do the following after calf implant surgery; plan to take two weeks off work, rest your legs and elevate your ankles for several days after surgery and use crutches to get around, plan to walk in heeled shoes for a while (walking flat footed initially is very uncomfortable), walk with knees slightly bent, don’t work out for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, and avoid running for two to three months after surgery. The biggest complication of calf implant surgery is the implants shifting from their place or a fluid collection occurring around them (seroma). Both of these problems are caused by too much calf activity after surgery! Also, expect stiff and sore calves for a month or so after surgery.
Calf implants can definitely give a better shape and a more muscular appearance to the lower legs but you have to be prepared for the recovery period. Calf implants take the longest to recover from any other body implant surgery in my experience. (pectoral, biceps, triceps, buttocks)
Dr Barry Eppley