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Calf Augmentation
Calf Implant

Calf augmentation Working out and developing muscles has become a popular part of our culture. Whether going to a gym, or exercising from the comforts of home, many Americans are trying to develop a more muscular figure. One such popular area is the calf, or calves. Unfortunately, some can exercise all day, but still find their calf muscles have not developed. Calf augmentation offers a solution. This is a procedure designed to increase the size and shape of the calves through surgical insertion of artificial implants into the calf. Implants used for calf augmentation consist of soft, yet solid silicone; they come in different sizes to suit the patients’ needs.

Calf augmentation is growing rapidly. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 1,170 calf augmentation procedures were done in the United States in 2003, compared to only 149 performed in 2002.

With the increasing popularity of various cosmetic surgery procedures, including calf augmentation, it is important that the prospective patient research and understand different issues like what the procedure can and cannot treat, inherent risks, costs, and other factors. Keep in mind, cosmetic surgery is just that – a surgical procedure whose results cannot simply be erased. While the information contained in this website will provide you with a good introduction to calf augmentation, when considering this or any other cosmetic procedure, we recommend that you consult a qualified provider with significant experience. Some important elements you should understand regarding this procedure include the following:

Benefits of Calf Augmentation

Calf implants can make your legs look as if they have been working out. They add both mass and definition to the calves. Men typically undergo calf augmentation to emphasize bulk. Women undergo this procedure for anatomical balance, so that the lower leg is more proportionate to the thighs.

Calf augmentation can be performed for cosmetic reasons, but can also be done to correct congenital and physical defects. Here are some of the conditions that calf augmentation can correct.

Polio Disease (Poliomyelitis): A disease that can leave one partially or completely paralyzed in the lower legs. Calf augmentation can help give more balance to the calf muscle area.

Spina Bifida – a rare genetic birth defect that affects the complete development of the nervous system and can affect one’s mobility. Calf augmentation can help correct conditions where the calf muscle is smaller than one on the other leg because of nerve damage. This can bring about a more balanced leg appearance.

Clubfoot - a birth defect that results in the foot being twisted out of position, with the heel and toe being turned inward. In certain cases, the condition can affect how calf muscles develop and end up with one muscle smaller than the other. Calf augmentation can aid in creating the natural anatomical balance one desires.

Who would best Represent an Ideal Candidate for Calf Augmentation?

Any person who finds that no amount of exercise brings muscle development would represent an ideal candidate for calf augmentation. The more common reasons for undergoing calf augmentation include:
  • Enhancing appearance and boosting self-confidence.
  • Becoming less self-conscious about appearance.
  • Being satisfied with the appearance of their lower legs.
  • Correcting congenital and physical defects.
  • Achieving a more balanced look.
However, the prospective patient must also be aware that cosmetic surgery is designed for improvement, not perfection. Patients should have realistic goals and expectations for calf augmentation. Those patients deciding to undergo calf augmentation must do so for their own and not anyone else’s reasons. Be sure to discuss your reasons for wanting to undergo this operation with the doctor during your consultation visit. This will also help determine your candidacy for the procedure.

Where do I begin?

Those considering calf augmentation should first find a qualified cosmetic surgeon to perform the procedure. has created an easy and effective way for patients to find a cosmetic surgeon online. For more information please

During consultations, doctors can learn more about their patients and vice versa. This visit gives the doctor a chance to evaluate the current state of the patient’s calves and discuss options that will help the patient achieve a desired look. Consultation visits also give patients the opportunity to talk about their goals and expectations for treatment and to ask any questions they might have. These visits also allow the doctors to inform the patient of the benefits, precautions, treatment response, adverse reactions, method of administration and other important information.

An important part of pre-op visits is determining the right size and shape for the implants. By assessing the patient’s goals, measuring the patient’s legs, and evaluating the entire body, the doctor can order and prepare the appropriate sized implants to make the results look more natural.

How is Calf Augmentation Performed?

Calf augmentation is usually performed on an outpatient basis and usually requires about one hour for the doctor to perform. This operation can be performed under either local or general anesthesia. Patients lie on their stomach during the operation.

Once the anesthesia takes effect, the doctor begins by making incisions in a natural crease located on the back of the knee. A pocket is created just large enough to securely fit the artificial implant. Close attention is given to control bleeding. The implant is then gently inserted into the pocket and placed above the muscle.

The same procedure is then done for the other leg. The doctor carefully examines both sides to make sure the legs are symmetrical and natural. If the results are pleasing to the doctor, stitches are used to close up the incision.

How Much Pain is Associated with Calf Augmentation?

It is typical to feel some degree of pain and discomfort after undergoing surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to alleviate the pain. Some bruising and swelling is to be expected following surgery, but this is only temporary.

What is the road to recovery like?

Having calf augmentation feels like you have worked out your calves intensely; the feeling will last for two weeks.

Most patients should be able to return to work about 7 to 10 days after surgery. The doctor should provide post-op instructions to ensure better healing, fewer complications and optimal results. Instructions can include no excessive walking for a few days.

Over the next month following surgery, patients can gradually return to normal walking. Patients are usually able to return to their full physical activities within four to six weeks.

What are The Long-Term Effects of Calf Augmentation?

Calf augmentation can result in a better-sculpted lower leg. Those undergoing calf augmentation for corrective purposes will find muscle balance restored. Calf augmentation is a relatively new procedure, but the implants used for the procedure are designed to last for years. For more information on how long the results will last, please consult your cosmetic surgeon.

What Are the Risks and Limitations of Calf Augmentation?

All forms of cosmetic surgery carry some degree of risks and complications. Risks for calf implants include infection and bleeding. Another possible complication is implants shifting and causing the results to appear asymmetrical.

The subject of potential risks and complications should be discussed between you and your surgeon. It is important that patients are aware of both the benefits and the risks, before receiving calf implants.

Are there other alternatives?

Some doctors perform calf augmentation using fat grafting techniques instead of placing implants. This involves the use of liposuction to remove excess fat from various parts of the body. Then, after it is purified, it is reinjected into the calves to enhance contour.

Calf augmentation through fat grafting is not for everyone, especially for those with little body fat. Also, the body eventually reabsorbs the fat. One problem with this form of calf augmentation is that the calves may become asymmetrical if one side absorbs more fat than the other.

What Are The Typical Costs Associated With Calf Augmentation?

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the national average for physician/surgeon fees was $3,075 in 2003. Fees within various regions may vary depending on whether the doctor’s practice is in an urban, suburban or rural area. This fee only covers the physician’s costs, and does not include other miscellaneous costs. A comprehensive cost figure may be obtained while consulting with the physician. Make sure this figure includes any and all associated costs.

Unfortunately, most medical insurance providers do not cover cosmetic surgery procedures. However, most surgeons do offer multiple financing options. provides information on various ways patients can fit calf augmentation into their budget. For more information, simply

Ten Questions Patients Undergoing Calf Augmentation Should Ask Their Surgeon

To better inform the patient about calf augmentation, as well as assisting in formulating realistic expectations, it is recommended that the patient look at before and after photographs, speak with previous patients, (you are always welcome to ask your doctor for referrals to previous patients and where to contact them) and get answers to the following questions:
  1. Are the desired results I described realistic?
  2. Where will the calf augmentation procedure be performed and how long will it take?
  3. In my case, are implants the most appropriate method for helping me reach my goals?
  4. What kind of anesthesia will the surgeon use during the surgery?
  5. How much does the calf augmentation cost and what other elements factor into that cost (i.e., hospital fee, anesthesia, etc)?
  6. What is the surgeon’s level of experience in performing calf augmentation?
  7. What percentage of patients experience complications with calf augmentation?
  8. What is the surgeon’s policy in regards to correcting or repeating the procedure if the calf augmentation procedure does not meet agreed upon goals?
  9. What should I expect, post-operatively, in terms of soreness, scaring, activity level and so on?
  10. Have you ever had your malpractice insurance coverage denied, revoked or suspended?

Do not limit yourself to these questions. If there is something you do not understand about calf augmentation, do not hesitate in asking the doctor any questions you might have.

In addition, it is important that calf augmentation patients relay to their surgeon information regarding any allergies and serious medical conditions they may have. Furthermore, patients should inform the surgeon of any medications they are taking.

This site provides information about plastic/cosmetic surgery and is designed to help users make decisions regarding their own treatment options. But medical information is not the same as medical advice--the application of medical treatment to a person's specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a qualified medical practitioner if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

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