No one likes to have twigs for calves. Whether due to a physical defect or simple genetics, having thin, shapeless calves affects the way we think about our legs. To improve the shape and appearance of our legs, Dr. Silverman can place calf implants to give your legs the shape you want.
What Is Calf Augmentation?
During Calf augmentation surgery, Dr. Silverman places implants just beneath the fascia (the thin membrane covering the calf muscle) through an incision in the crease behind the knee. Calf augmentation increases the size and improves the shape of the calves.
Patients usually opt to have this procedure if their efforts to enlarge their calves with exercise have proven fruitless, or if they have a muscle imbalance due to physical injury or birth defects.
Candidate for Calf Augmentation
The goal of calf augmentation is to add shape and definition to the calves. These are typical situations where a person would consider this procedure with Dr. Silverman:
- To emphasize the bulk of the calf muscle
- To make your lower leg more anatomically proportionate with your thigh
- If you want to correct lower leg defects from injury, disease, or from birth defects
- If you’re a bodybuilder and you’re not satisfied with your calf development
Types of Calf Implants
Calf implants are made of medical-grade silicone. They can be solid silicone or silicone gel (similar to breast implants but firmer), but in the USA, only the solid implants are available. Implants are available in symmetrical sizes that work best for average people, or asymmetrical sizes where the patient hopes to add dramatic volume and shape to the calf (usually bodybuilders). If you prefer a more specialized shape, Dr. Silverman can custom-carve solid implants before insertion.
Where Are Calf Implants Placed?
Calf implants are most commonly placed just beneath the membrane covering the muscle (subfascial placement) and less commonly either just under the skin (subcutaneously) or within the muscle (submuscular). Subfascial placement is more frequent because the procedure is less invasive and makes for a faster, easier recovery, while still providing reasonable soft tissue coverage. Subfascial placement can sometimes allow the implant to rotate and be visible as an implant, but this is not common, as it is with subcutaneous placement, which is rarely performed. This is because there is less tissue covering the implant.
When the implant is placed in the muscle, the procedure is more difficult. There is greater discomfort and more recovery time, but the aesthetic result may be better in some cases. This is because the calf muscles cover the implant. The risk to nerve and muscle, however, make this option less desirable.
How Is Calf Augmentation Performed?
Calf augmentation with Dr. Silverman is usually an outpatient procedure with the patient under general anesthesia. The patient lies face down on the operating table, and an incision is made at the back of the knee. The incision will go through the skin and the fascia membrane covering the gastrocnemius muscle. Care has to be taken to locate the tibial nerve, but otherwise there aren’t many arteries or nerves to deal with in this area. A pocket is created to snugly fit the implant under the membrane atop the muscle. Then the incision is closed. Because the incision is made in the natural crease behind the knee, the scar is not really visible.
Calf Augmentation Before & After
Calf Augmentation Recovery Time
For the first day or two after surgery, you’ll need assistance when walking to the bathroom. You’ll need to keep your legs elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling and discomfort. Usually on the second day after your surgery you can remove your dressings and walk around the house. You’ll walk like Frankenstein for the first week or so, but you should try and walk greater distances.
After two weeks or so, you’ll be able to walk normally. The skin will stretch by this point and any shininess on the surface should disappear. Bruising should resolve around this time. Activities such as running, biking, and weightlifting will need to wait probably for two months after your surgery, although this can vary.
How Long Will My Results Last?
Your calf implants are permanent. They should not need any maintenance, in most cases. You’ll be happy with your shapelier calves for the rest of your life.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to learn more about Calf Augmentation surgery, please call (617) 965-9500 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rick Silverman.