The Procedure

Calf augmentation with implants is a procedure to increase the size and improve the shape of the calf. Patients seek calf implants to tone and define the lower leg if it cannot be achieved with exercise alone, or to correct a muscle imbalance resulting from physical or birth defects.

Is it right for me?

Calf implant surgery is a good option for you if:

  • Your desire is to emphasize the bulk of the calf muscle (usually men) or if you seek a lower leg more anatomically proportionate to your thigh (usually women).
  • You are a bodybuilder and you have reached the plateau of calf development with exercise, but you are not satisfied with the definition of your lower leg.
  • You wish to correct lower leg defects resulting from trauma; disease, such as polio; or from birth deformities, such as clubfoot or spina bifida.

About The Calf Augmentation Procedure

The day of surgery, you are given general anesthesia or sedation anesthesia and placed in the prone position (lying face down) on the operating table. The procedure time is about 2 hours. The incision is made at the back of the knee, through the and fascia (sheet of connective tissue) covering the gastrocnemius muscle. The implants can be placed either subfascially (just beneath the fascia) or sub-muscularly (within the muscle). Sub-fascial placement is used more frequently because the procedure is less invasive, less difficult, and leads to a faster, less painful recovery for the patient.

However, sub-fascial placement can sometimes result in implant rotation and a palpable implant. Sub-muscular placement is considered more difficult for a deeper dissection into muscle tissue. You can also expect a few additional days of recovery and greater discomfort. However, the implant is more securely and accurately placed within the muscle and results in a better aesthetic outcome, including a more natural shape because the calf muscles cover the implant. Drains may be positioned and sutures are closed.

Recovery and results:

When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain. You will also have some redness and swelling after the surgery. You can expect to walk stiffly for the first week or so, but you are encouraged to gradually walk greater distances.

Normal walking starts to return during the second and third week after surgery. Activities such as running, biking, weight-lifting should be avoided until one or two months after surgery. Full return to normal activities usually occurs after four to six weeks.

Under normal circumstances, the results of your calf augmentation surgery will be long-lasting. Fortunately, significant complications from calf implants are infrequent. Your specific risks for calf implants will be discussed during your consultation.