What are calf implants?
Have you ever wished that your calves looked more muscular and defined? Calf augmentation uses implants to reshape the appearance of the lower leg, increasing muscle definition and the volume of the calves.
This procedure is popular among both women and men, and is performed for both cosmetic and reconstructive purposes. During the calf augmentation procedure, the implant may be placed either below the muscle, which is referred to as submuscular placement, or above the muscle, which is referred to as subfascial placement.
Are you a good candidate?
Most patients who are considering calf augmentation desire legs with more muscular contours. They tend to be athletes who are unable to achieve their desired muscle definition through exercise alone.
Patients who have lost calf tissue due to medical conditions or trauma may also undergo calf augmentation as reconstructive surgery. If you would like to improve the physical appearance of your calf by increasing its definition and size, then calf augmentation may be right for you.
Both men and women can receive calf implants. The ideal candidate is a healthy adult who is realistic about the potential outcomes of surgery.
Calf implants tend to work best on patients who are at or near their ideal weight and are already fairly muscular.
How is the procedure done?
Calf augmentation is performed while the patient is lying on his or her stomach and approximately take three hours to complete. The following provides an overview of how calf augmentation is performed.
- General anesthesia is administered,
- The surgeon makes an incision behind each knee. This incision enables the surgeon to insert the implants without creating a significant scar.
- Either above or below the muscle, the surgeon will create a tissue pocket where the implant will be placed. The implants used for calf augmentation are dense silicone, with a feeling similar to that of well-toned muscle.
- Once both implants have been positioned in the calves, the incision will be closed with sutures.
Calf implant recovery time
During the recovery period, patients should avoid walking or performing any other activities that involves the use of the legs for several days.
Side effects that commonly occur during the recovery include pain, tenderness and swelling. Most patients will be able to resume their normal activity level within a week to ten days, although exercise routines requiring use of the leg muscles should be avoided for about a month to allow the calves to heal.
After the recovery, there should be no adverse impact on the use of the leg muscles, since the muscles themselves are not cut or detached during the procedure.
When will you see results?
The visual results of your calf augmentation surgery will be immediate. However, it may take several weeks for the final volume and contouring effects to emerge. In general, it takes three to four months for the final results from calf implants.
How long will your results last?
While the results of calf augmentation are long lasting, they are not permanent. Some patients need to re-do the surgery after several years once the silicone implants degrade from natural wear-and-tear. Implants last for approximately 10-15 years.
As with any surgical procedure there are risks associated with calf augmentation. In general, it is considered a very safe form of plastic surgery; less than 4 percent of all patients report any type of post-surgery complications. Some possible risks and complications include:
- Blood clots
- Numbness and nerve damage
- Capsular contracture
Using an experienced board certified plastic surgeon can help minimize your risks to ensure a successful outcome. As always, discuss all the potential risks and complications before undergoing any treatment.
Cost of calf implants
The average surgeon’s fee for calf implant is $3,649. When additional costs such as those for anesthesia and the surgical facility are factored in, the total calf implant cost is usually between $4,500 and $8,000.
Submuscular placement tends to be more expensive than subfascial placement since it is a more complicated surgical procedure.
When deciding to have surgery, its important to not only consider the cost but also the surgeon. Choose a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience in performing these types of procedures.
Find a plastic surgeon near you.