Whether because of heredity, injury, or disease, some people are simply unable to build adequate muscle mass in their calves. Exercise and diet alone can’t address an underlying imbalance between the upper and lower parts of the leg.
For those people, a calf augmentation can enhance the proportions and symmetry of the lower body, creating a more pleasing and robust look.
A calf augmentation requires a small incision behind the knees, and the insertion of a silicone implant over the existing calf muscle. By padding the calf with an implant, an appearance of greater bulk and muscularity is created.
Calf implants can add the appearance of muscular definition to thin calves, and will create a more pleasing overall balance in the shape of the legs. These implants can also address any asymmetry in the calves: if one calf is thinner than the other, the implants can be adjusted to bring the calves into better alignment.
The appearance of scars is minimized by placing the incisions in the creases and less visible areas of the leg.
During the consultation process, your surgeon will measure your legs and discuss your expectations. Based on your proportions and the look you desire, the surgeon will select silicone implants of the right size. Sizes vary, but each implant usually weighs only a few ounces.
You will be placed under general anesthetic during the surgery. The surgeon will make an incision behind the knee, through which the implants will be inserted under the fascia (the fibrous covering) of the existing calf muscle. Once the implant is in place, the incision is closed with stitched. The entire process usually takes between one and two hours to perform.
After the surgery, you will need someone to bring you home and take care of you for a day or two. In the first week, your calves will feel sore and swollen, but you’re encouraged to walk regularly to help speed recovery.
Most patients can return to work within three to seven days. Returning to vigorous exercise can take a little longer: your surgeon will instruct you, but you can expect to wait between six to eight weeks before being able to run or jog or engage in other high-intensity activities.
Every surgical procedure comes with some risks. The most common risks for calf augmentation surgery include bleeding, infection and scarring. Rarely, muscle or nerve damage can occur, or an implant can slip after surgery, causing an asymmetrical appearance. Your surgeon will discuss the risks with you during the consultation process.