Calf Implants Overview
Calf implants are surgical inserts that are used to change the size or contour of the calves. This surgery is a method of repairing congenital defects and injuries from accidents, though many patients choose it for aesthetic reasons. During the procedure, solid silicone implants are placed into pockets over the gastrocnemius muscles through tiny cuts made just behind the knee. The result is a larger, more defined calf muscle.
Calf implants are custom-made for each patient, so Dr. Vallecillos will schedule a pre-operative appointment to take measurements for the prosthetic implants. These will then be ordered.Blood-thinning vitamins, herbs, and medications should be discontinued for two weeks before the surgery. If you smoke cigarettes, you should quit for at least two weeks before and after surgery. If you are over the age of 45, medical clearance by an independent physician may be required before undergoing surgery.
General anesthesia will be administered.
- Calf augmentation surgery consists of placing two implants into each leg to be treated. The surgeon will make an incision in the fascia, or fibrous covering, of the gastrocnemius muscle, and create a pocket between the two layers of the tissue. The implants are then inserted into this pocket, and the leg is examined. If the size and contour is deemed satisfactory, the incision is closed with stitches.If both legs are being treated, the process is then repeated for the other leg.
Calf Implants FAQ
Am I a candidate for calf implants?
You should consider calf implants if you wish to correct balance, symmetry, and/or proportion defects between the two legs, or between the legs and the torso. If you suffer from bowed legs, clubfoot, extremely thin legs, or defects from polio, calf implants can help to improve the appearance of the legs. Professional weight lifters may also consider this surgery when intense exercise fails to change the muscular structure of their calves over an extended period of time.
What is the recovery time for calf implants?
Patients should arrange to have friends, family members, or other caregivers available to help during the first week after surgery. Patients will be placed on bed rest with elevated legs for the first two days, and then are encouraged to begin a regimen of walking to allow the muscles to become accustomed to the implants. Once the dressings are removed, the calves may be sore but the patient can slowly return to normal activities, and can usually return to work after one week. Full recovery may take six weeks or longer, and strenuous exercise and weight lifting should be avoided during this period.
Are there risks or side effects with calf implants?
You should expect some temporary swelling, tenderness, and bruising near the surgical site and throughout the lower leg. These will diminish as mobility is resumed. As with all surgeries, there is a small risk of infection. Rare complications may include excessive bleeding and muscle damage.
How long do the results last?
The silicone used in calf implants should last a lifetime, but this is still a relatively new medical technology. An implant might have to be taken out and replaced if the leg becomes infected, but this is a rare occurrence. There is also a very small risk that the calf implants will shift positions after surgery, leaving the legs unbalanced in appearance.