Calf implant also known as calf augmentation, is a surgical procedure that employs soft, solid silicone implants to increase the size and shape of the calves. Men and women who are dissatisfied with the shape and size of their calves may be interested in calf implants; this includes both cosmetic enhancement and reconstructive necessity.
The conventional reasons for calf augmentation include:
- To enhance the fullness, shape and bulk of the calf muscles, when exercise fails to achieve requisite growth and development
- To improve proportions and curves of thin or bowed lower legs
- To correct asymmetry in calf muscles from trauma or genetic birth deformities such as polio, spina bifida, and clubfoot
The basic steps involved in calf implant surgery are as follows:
- The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia; regional spinal anaesthesia or local anaesthesia may also be employed
- Preoperatively, the patient is placed in front of a full-length mirror and sizers are sited on the calves to determine the exact location of the implants
- The patient is then placed on his/her stomach so the calves are accessible
- An incision (2-2.5 inch) is made over the natural crease behind the knee, through the tough connective tissue fascia that covers the gastrocnemius muscle
- A pocket is created between the fascia and the underlying muscle by employing a long blunt dissector
- The implant is then inserted into the space carefully, without clasping or folds
- In case of additional implants, the same procedure is to be followed
- Finally the incision is closed with dissolving sutures and after confirming the symmetry of both calves, the legs are wrapped in compression bandages
Risk and complications
Calf implant surgery is a very safe procedure; however as with any surgery there are possible risks and complications. The possible complications associated with calf implant surgery are as follows:
- Poor healing and scaring
- Nerve damage
- Revision surgery
Common post-operative instructions for patients who undergo calf implant surgery include:
- Bed rest with legs elevated for the first 24-48 hours after surgery helps to reduce swelling.
- Regular intake of prescribed medications should be followed.
- Short walks for routine activities are allowed.
- Patients are free to shower after 3-5 days of surgery.
- A specially designed support is wrapped above the knee after a week, and should be worn for 6-8 weeks.
- Avoid strenuous activities such as bicycling, jogging and leg exercises for at least 8 weeks.