Procedure Description: Calf augmentation surgery can make the legs appear more shapely and defined. This can create a greater feeling of confidence, particularly in clothes, such as shorts and swimsuits. Calf augmentation can be done with implants or fat injection. If implants are used, 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). During fat transfer techniques, fat is harvested from one site on the body and transferred to the calf muscle via a 0.5 cm incision at the bottom of the calf muscle. In addition, the average patient needs 2 to 3 treatments to increase the volume by 50 percent to 70 percent.
Length of Procedure: The length of the implant procedure varies, but generally takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour per side, versus about 45 minutes for both calves using the fat injection approach.
Recovery: Immediately following the surgery the calves may feel stiff and sore. There is little discomfort associated the incisions because they are small. Medication and ice packs may be used in the first few days to reduce discomfort and swelling. However, some swelling and bruising is to be expected. Normal physical activities may be resumed a few days after calf implant surgery. Patients can resume full activity in 5 to 7 days after fat injection calf augmentation. 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.
Risks: Significant complications from calf implants are infrequent. The most common complications associated with this procedure include infection, bleeding, and scarring. Other, less common complications include hematoma (collection of blood) and seroma (fluid buildup). In rare cases, there may be bleeding. If the implant were to get infected, it would have to be removed for 2 to 3 months and then replaced at a later date. Rarely, before recovery is complete, the implants may shift. During the recovery, there is also a risk of the implant becoming distorted as the body heals around it. In very rare cases, the implant may weaken the nearby muscle. The risks of fat transfer/fat injection are few and minimal. Soreness and swelling are possible but not common. The body can also reabsorb fat injections, which is difficult to predict. With fat transfer techniques, the average patient may need 2 to 3 treatments to get the desired final result.
Results: This procedure can allow you to confidently show off your legs in shorts and bathing suits. With time, the scars will most likely fade until they are completely unnoticeable. The results of this procedure are generally quite long lasting, but there may be some problems, such as the circulatory problems that sometimes come with age — eventually necessitating the removal of the implants. With age the muscles begin to shrink and the outline of the implants may occasionally become visible many years later. With the fat transfer technique, results last several years (and can be permanent) and can appear natural, with little long term risk.
Estimated Cost: The national average fee for this procedure ranges from $4,200 to $7,000 and this includes the surgeon, hospital and anesthesia fees.