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Calf Implants

Many people find it difficult to develop their calf muscles, even with extensive, targeted exercise. For some individuals, regardless of what they do, their lower legs remain thin and undefined.

Other people have had an illness that has caused the leg muscles to appear deteriorated or under-developed. Even bodybuilders sometimes find that the well-defined calves they desire cannot be produced by exercise alone, and they elect to have calf implant surgery in order to produce a better-balanced lower body.

The implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In the case of disease or injury, custom implants may also be made from a mold of the calf muscles. Most implants are made of pliable, but solid materials, such as silicone. They are placed above the calf muscles to enhance their appearance, giving the legs more definition and shape.

If you're considering calf implant surgery, the following information will provide you with a good introduction to the procedure. For more detailed information about how this procedure may help you, we recommend that you consult a plastic surgeon who is board certified or has completed a residency program that includes instruction in this procedure.

After calf implant surgery, the legs can appear more shapely and defined. This can create a greater feeling of confidence, particularly in clothes such as shorts and swimsuits. For bodybuilders and others, calf implants can bring the calves into better proportion with the rest of their bodies. For those who have suffered from a disease or injury, the surgery may help create a feeling of victory over the disease, bringing an end to negative feelings of being abnormal or different.

 

How is calf implant surgery performed?

An incision is made below the crease behind the knee. In this position, any scar that remains after the surgery will most likely be well concealed; however the scar will be visible to someone who looks for it. The implant is inserted, and the incision is closed with sutures (stitches).

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How long does calf implant surgery take?

The procedure takes about 1 hour per calf.

What type of anesthesia is used?

A calf implant surgery is usually performed using local anesthesia along with a light sedative to make you feel drowsy and relaxed. General anesthesia may also be used, causing you to be asleep during the whole procedure.

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Where is the procedure performed?

The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, either in your doctor's office or in an outpatient clinic.

When can I return home and resume normal activities?

There is no hospital stay required and normal activities may be resumed within a few days of the surgery. However, in order to allow the body time to heal, vigorous activities such as exercise should be delayed until about six weeks after the surgery.

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How do I prepare for calf implant surgery?

During your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the changes that you would like to make to your appearance. Since the appearance of your calf is a matter of personal perception and preference, you will need to discuss your concerns in detail so your surgeon can determine the appropriate alternatives. You also should make arrangements ahead of time for someone to drive you to and from your procedure and to assist you with your daily activities during your recovery period.

Prior to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will perform a complete health history and physical. Knowledge of your allergies, medications and previous surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention at this time. It is important that you tell your surgeon if you are prone to heavy scarring, such as keloids. Specific instructions to assist you in preparing for this procedure will be given to you after the health history and physical is complete. Depending on your individual health status, the instructions may include guidelines regarding your diet, alcohol intake, smoking and which medications to take or avoid. Your experience will be much smoother if you remain compliant with your surgeon's instructions.

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What precautions are necessary during recovery?

You should avoid strenuous activity for the several weeks. Please ask your surgeon for after care instructions specific to your case, as these will assist you during your recovery period.

What are the possible complications after calf implant surgery?

Significant complications from calf implants are infrequent. In rare cases, there may be bleeding or shifting of the implants. During the recovery, there is also a risk of the implant becoming distorted as the body heals around it. No procedure is without risks; however, the majority of complications known to be associated with a calf implant are minor when the procedure is performed by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. It is always important to be informed about the possible complications before any surgery. Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your surgeon.

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What results can I expect after calf implant surgery?

Immediately following the surgery the calves may feel stiff and sore. Medication and ice packs may be used in the first few days to reduce discomfort and swelling. You may experience some discomfort as you resume walking. It is very important to keep the legs clean in order to prevent infection.

The results of this procedure are generally long lasting and highly satisfying. With time, the scars will fade until they are completely unnoticeable. If you are self-conscious about your calves, this procedure may open up new possibilities for a positive body image.

 

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