Calf implants (calf augmentation) are a procedure to increase the size and shape of the calf.
Many people are dissatisfied with the shape/size of their calf muscles to the point that they avoid wearing garments that expose their legs. In these instances, even intensive exercise may not significantly enlarge the calf muscles, particularly in relation to one’s larger thigh muscles. Calf implants can also be used to correct deformities resulting from injury or nerve diseases that result in muscle deterioration. Such deformities include, polio, club foot, spina bifida. Calf implants using solid, soft silicone implants addresses these problematic areas.
How is it done?
These implants which may be one to each leg or two depending on the desired effect are placed through small incisions in the creases behind the knee. A person may desire to have only the inner head of the muscle enlarged, the outer head, or both. The result is that the existing musculature is made to appear larger and more defined.
On the day of surgery the patient is placed under general anaesthesia and turned onto the stomach on the operating room table. An incision is made in the fascia of the gastrocnemius muscle. The fascia is a fibrous covering of the muscle itself. A special instrument is used to create a pocket between this fascia and the underlying muscle. This pocket is made just big enough for the implant to fit into securely. The implant is then gently inserted into the pocket and the same technique is used to insert the second implant into the same leg. The leg is examined for effect and if the result appears good then the incision in the fascia is closed with stitches. The person is returned to a face-up position and is taken to recovery.
Why is it done?
Calf implants are placed for a variety of reasons:
- increasing bulk of calf muscles
- restoring symmetry when one calf is under developed by birth
- restoring cosmoses when one calf is removed due to trauma or surgery
What should I do before?
We will give you detailed preoperative instructions, please follow them carefully. To maximise the benefits of your treatment our personally tailored pre operative natural therapies pack will be provided to you ahead of surgery to aid in healing and recovery.
It is essential that you have a support person with you on the day of your procedure, as you will require assistance with transportation. It is advised that your support person stay with you for at least 24 hours.
We recommend that you prepare your home environment to aid in your recovery. It is important that your recovery environment is clean and ideally pet free and prepared with items that you may require during this time to allow for rest and comfort.
Small steps can make a big difference when it comes to ensuring a smooth recovery. Thinking ahead and preempting your needs will help with the preparation process. Further things to consider include:
- Plugging in a nightlight so you can easily find your way to the bathroom at night.
- Ensuring that you have access to low preparation meals.
- Preparing your bed with lots of pillows to aid in positioning and minimising discomfort.
- Arrange for dependents to be cared for.
- Purchase all of your medications and dressings before your surgery, including antibiotics, antibacterial soap, a thermometer and ice packs to help reduce swelling.
- Staying well hydrated will also aid in your recovery so please ensure you have water within reach.
To further aid in healing and minimise complications, you are strongly advised to stop smoking, at least for 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after your surgery.
You will also be asked to provide a complete medical history for your surgeon including any health problems you have had, any medication you are taking or have taken, and any allergies you may have. Your surgeon will also advise you if any other tests are required, such as blood tests, X-ray examinations or ECGs.
You may be advised to stop taking certain medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, and medicines that contain aspirin. You may also be asked to stop taking naturopathic substances such as garlic, ginko, ginseng and St John’s Wort as they may affect clotting and anaesthesia. Always tell your surgeon everything you are taking.
What should I expect after?
During the recovery period, you will be asked not to walk longer than a few meters for two days after surgery. Dressings are then removed followed by a gentle exercise program within 1-2 weeks to enable a full and comfortable range of motion of the legs. Generally within a week or two, use of the lower body muscles may be resumed and within one month, full muscular activity may be restarted.
What are possible complications?
Surgical risks may include: infection, bleeding, asymmetry, scarring, and muscle and/or nerve damage.
Any cosmetic procedure carries the risk of need for revisional surgery if the desired look is not achieved.
How much will it cost?
The cost depends on the anaesthetic fee, private hospital fee, private operating facility fee, extent of surgery required, whether liposuction is required, whether this procedure is carried out at the same time as other procedures, and many other factors. The only accurate way to give you a reasonable estimate is to assess your needs when you visit us.
How much time off work will I need?
Most people require one week of time off work. We strongly recommend no strenuous exercise for 6 weeks after surgery.
If your work is very strenuous, you may choose to return to modified duties for a few weeks to aid in your recovery.