Calf Implants

Calf augmentation or calf implants is a cosmetic procedure which adds fullness to the lower part of the leg. Many women and men do not have the muscle tone they desire and calf implants can sculpt the lower leg and correct imbalance of the muscles. Some people experience calf development which is not in proportion to their legs, or have bow legs or extremely thin legs and these are the people the procedure is designed to help.

The procedure can achieve a better look as well as giving a patient self confidence in their appearance. Leg muscles will feel neither too hard nor too soft after surgery.

Costs can vary according to clinic but a patient can expect to pay from around £2,500 and upwards. Costs can be discussed at consultation and payment plans may be available.

The difference to the appearance of the legs after surgery can be quite remarkable and totally realistic. Self confidence will be improved and a person will feel able to wear shorts or a swimsuit. You can see examples of before and after pictures here.

Cosmetic surgery to change the shape of the calf is normally carried out under general anaesthetic although a local anaesthetic is sometimes used. The surgery normally involves a one night stay in hospital. The surgeon makes a small incision at the back of the knee and silicone implants are inserted. The implants will be held in place by stitches or by the leg muscles. A patient can expect to walk within about a week although strenuous exercise must be avoided for about six weeks.

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Procedure Guide

What are calf implants?

Calf implants are silicone implants which are used to improve the shape, definition and size of the calf. The implants should feel the same to touch as a well-developed calf muscle and not be too hard or too soft. The procedure is also known as calf augmentation and is a popular form of cosmetic surgery for both men and women. Most of the time just one implant is needed in each leg. There are different sized implants depending on what effect you wish to create and they can even be custom made.

Who benefits from calf implants?

Despite exercise, diet and training, sometimes it is difficult to achieve the perfect calf muscle tone. The calf muscle is known to be one of the most difficult muscles to enlarge and define and men with skinny legs often want to add bulk to this area. Women may seek to achieve a more attractive shape to their lower legs. In addition to improving the appearance of the calf, implants can also balance out disproportions or deformities in the legs, either natural or due to an injury or a disease that causes muscle deterioration such as polio, spina bifida and clubfoot. All these conditions are associated with undeveloped calves.

What does the procedure involve?

Calf implants can be done under general or local anaesthetic and the procedure usually takes between one and two hours. An overnight stay in hospital is normally required. The surgeon will make a 2.5 – 5 cm incision in the crease behind the knee and insert the silicon implant to sit on top of the calf muscle. The surgeon will then examine the legs to ensure they look even and natural then the incision will be stitched up, usually using dissolvable stitches.

Will I have a scar?

Given it’s position at the back of the knee any scar that remains will be well concealed. The scar will also fade in time.

What is the recovery period following the procedure?

Patients will probably experience mild to moderate pain following the surgery with some swelling and bruising. For the first 24 – 48 hours you will need bed rest with the legs raised to reduce swelling. Light walking is allowed after 48 hours building up to increased walking and other activities in the first and second weeks. You may have to take up to two weeks off work. Normal walking and non-strenuous activities can usually start three weeks after surgery, but this varies. To prevent the implant shifting, strenuous activities such as cycling, jogging and leg exercises must be avoided for eight weeks to allow total healing.

How much do calf implants cost?

Calf implants surgery will cost around £5000.

What are the risks of calf implant surgery?

Talk to your surgeon but the main risk factors are those associated with any operation, especially one where a general anaesthesia is used. In some cases the implants rupture and have to be removed and reinserted. People who do not rest for the recommended time have a greater risk of increased swelling, bleeding, bruising and infection.