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Cosmetic surgery to increase the size and shape of your calf
Calf implants can create a more muscular appearance for men and a sexier contoured lower leg for women. Often, they are simply used to create fullness below the knee to remedy the appearance of legs that look disproportionately slight around the calves.
Body implants have been used in reconstructive plastic surgery since in the late 1950s, putting right the tissue loss caused by injury or disease. It is only relatively recently that they have been used by cosmetic surgeons purely to enhance appearance.
Is calf implant surgery right for you?
Many people struggle to develop their calf muscles. Even with extensive, targeted exercise, their lower legs remain thin and undefined. Other people may have underdeveloped calf muscles due to an illness or accident. For whatever reason, many people are dissatisfied with the shape of their lower legs to the extent where they avoid wearing clothes that leave their legs exposed. Cosmetic surgery to insert calf implants will make lower legs appear more shapely and defined. However, anyone considering a calf implant because they think their calves look too small should make certain that it is purely a calf issue and not the result of the overall structure of their legs. Before embarking on a calf implant it would be wise to talk to your doctor about whether there are any alternatives, such as exercise.
“I was a 30 year old man, but for some reason, below the knee I looked like a seven year old boy!” explained one calf implant patient. “I didn’t want legs like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I wanted to look normal so that it wouldn’t be an issue for me. After discussing it with my doctor and then a cosmetic surgeon I had the operation. Now I have what I have wanted all my adult life – normal legs.”
If you are self-conscious about your legs, this procedure could give your body image a permanent boost. Afterwards you’ll will be happy to display your legs in shorts and bathing suits, and with minimal scarring, there will be virtually no trace of surgery ever having been performed.
Undergoing the procedure
Typically, general anaesthesia is used during the insertion of calf implants. The surgery takes approximately two hours per implant and an overnight stay in the hospital is recommended. The surgeon will make an incision in the crease behind the knee and make a space for the implant above the lateral or medial gastrocnemius muscle or possibly both. The fascia (the ligament above the muscle) is incised to reduce the pressure, and the silicone implant is put into place. The opening is stitched, leaving a scar that will soon become imperceptible.
After surgery, your calves will be bandaged and there will be some bruising around the lower legs. You should take it easy for the first week following the operation, then gradually start using your legs until, after about 5 weeks you should be able to return to normal activities.
As one calf implant recipient put it, “I was advised to keep my legs raised as much as possible for the first 2 days, to reduce the swelling. After a few days I attempted walking. My legs felt very stiff at first but, after a week or so, my muscles seemed to adapt and soon I was feeling perfectly normal again.”
As with all cosmetic surgery, there is some degree of risk involved. Possible risks associated with a calf implant operation can include infection, blood loss, fluid collection and the implant rupturing or moving. It is essential to follow the advice of your surgeon after the procedure. This will ensure that the outcome is as successful as possible and reduce the risk of complications.
The results of this procedure are generally permanent, however, as the muscles age and shrink, the outline of the implants can sometimes become visible. In addition, some age-related problems, such as circulation, may necessitate the removal of the implants.
Choosing a surgeon
A calf implant procedure should only be carried out by a surgeon with relevant skills and experience in an establishment registered with the Healthcare Commission. Prices for silicone calf implants can range from approximately £3000 to £4000. If this procedure is something that you are considering, you can discuss all of the issues mentioned here in greater depth during a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon.
Have your say!
If you've had experience with this procedure then why not leave a comment below and share your thoughts and advice with our readers.